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Biden calls for ‘free world’ to fight Putin in Poland Reuters speech



© Reuters. US President Joe Biden delivers a joint press statement with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the US Mission in Brussels, Belgium March 25, 2022. REUTERS / Evelyn Hockstein

By Jarrett Renshaw, Trevor Hunnicutt and Justyna Pawlak

WARSAW (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden will argue in a speech in Poland on Saturday that the “free world” opposes Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and that there is unity among the major economies on the need to stop Vladimir Putin, the White House said.

Biden will also meet Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov on Saturday in Warsaw in his first face-to-face meeting with top Ukrainian officials since the start of the war.

Biden held three days of emergency meetings with G7 allies, Europe and NATO, and visited US troops in Poland on Friday. He is also scheduled to meet Polish President Andrzej Duda on Saturday.

Putin’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine, which Russia called a “special operation,” tested Biden’s promise when he took office last year to confront autocrats including the Russian President. and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

The White House said in remarks later on Saturday, Biden “will make remarks on the free world’s united efforts to support the people of Ukraine, hold Russia accountable for the devastating war.” of its own and defend a future rooted in democratic principles”.

Poland until the fall of communism in 1989 after the Iron Curtain for 4 decades, under Soviet influence and a member of the Warsaw Pact security alliance led by Moscow. It is now the largest former communist member of the European Union and NATO.

The rise of far-right populism in Poland in recent years has brought the country into conflict with the European Union and Washington, but the threat from Russia beyond its borders has brought Poland closer. Western neighbours.

Biden’s election has put the nationalist Law and Justice government in a dilemma after it made a great mark on its relationship with predecessor Donald Trump.

But as tensions with Russia increased before it invaded Ukraine, Duda appeared to be looking to soften relations with Washington. In December, he vetoed legislation that critics say aims to silence a US-owned 24-hour news broadcaster.

WARPLANES

Biden and Duda will meet privately and are expected to address the issue of how to equip Ukraine with fighter jets and other security guarantees.

Washington, seeking to avoid direct conflict with Russia, earlier this month rejected a surprise Polish offer to move Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets to a US base in Germany for replenishment. for the Ukrainian Air Force.

Now, Poland wants to accelerate the purchase of Patriot missiles, F35 fighter jets and US-made tanks to ensure its own security, and to seek reassurance about NATO’s commitments in protect its members.

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