“Now is the time for the people of Western Europe to invest in the security of their continent for the next century,” said Biden, then a US Senator.
Biden, now President, speaks again here on Saturday as European security faces its most precarious test since World War II. The bloody war in Ukraine has entered its second month and Western leaders have spent the week deliberating contingency plans should the conflict mutate or spread. The invasion shattered NATO’s complacency and cast a dark shadow across the continent.
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the speech will outline the “urgency of the challenge ahead” and “what the conflict in Ukraine means for the world and why it is so important for the free world to remain united and move triggers face of Russian aggression.”
Biden’s comments will end a four-day trip that included an earlier stop for a series of summits in Brussels. While in Warsaw, he arrived at a meeting between US and Ukrainian foreign and defense leaders on Saturday morning. He also planned to visit Polish President Andrzej Duda and meet with Ukrainian refugees and the aid workers who helped them.
The President’s hotel is opposite Warsaw’s main train station, a key arrival point for Ukrainian refugees. About 3.5 million have fled the country; 2 million are in Poland. Helpers in colorful vests ran through the terminal, signs pointed to tents outside where refugees could eat free.
Biden previewed his closing speech during Friday’s performances in Rzeszów.
“You are in the midst of a struggle between democracies and oligarchs,” the President told members of the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division when he visited their makeshift headquarters. “Will democracy prevail and the values we share, or will autocracies prevail?”
During a later briefing on the refugee response, Biden said “the most important thing we can do from the start” to force Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the war “is to keep the democracies united in our opposition.” “.
Biden praised the humanitarian efforts as “of such tremendous consequence, given the scale of the crisis, which has amounted to the largest influx of refugees since World War II.” He appeared to lament that security concerns would “understandably” put him off visiting Ukraine.
Duda, who appeared with Biden on Friday, said the refugees were “guests.”
“We don’t want to call them refugees. They are our guests, our brothers, our neighbors from Ukraine who are in a very difficult situation today,” he said.
The US has sent money and supplies to support refugee efforts. This week, Biden announced $1 billion in additional aid and said the US would take in up to 100,000 refugees.
The US and many of its allies have imposed multiple rounds of economic and other sanctions on Russian individuals, banks and other entities in hopes that the cumulative effect over time will force Putin to withdraw his troops.
Biden was scheduled to return to Washington after his speech in Warsaw on Saturday.
AP writer Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
https://abc13.com/joe-biden-speaks-russia-war-on-ukraine-speech-today-russian-aggression/11682548/ Joe Biden Speech Today: President Ends Europe Tour With Unity Message Echoing Past