Joe Biden’s journey is coming to an end. The American president meets Wednesday in Warsaw with the group of nine leaders of the NATO countries of central and eastern Europe, in the presence of the secretary general of the Atlantic Alliance, to assure them of Washington’s “unwavering” support in the face of in Moscow the day after a belligerent speech by Vladimir Putin, a year after the start of the war in Ukraine.
Joe Biden “will meet with the leaders of the Bucharest Nine (B9), a group of NATO allies on our eastern flank, in the presence of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to reaffirm the United States’ unwavering support for security of the Alliance,” the White House said in a statement.
This demonstration of support, planned for the presidential palace in Warsaw, aims to reassure these nine countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia) whose the common point is to be former members of the Soviet Union or the Warsaw Pact and to be on the eastern flank of NATO.
It comes the day after a virulent speech by the Russian president, who vowed to “methodically” continue his offensive launched almost a year ago in Ukraine and announced Russia’s withdrawal from the Russian-American New Start treaty on disarmament. nuclear, reminiscent of the worst hours of the Cold War.
Westerners want to “finish us once and for all”, thundered Putin, accusing Washington and its European allies of bearing “responsibility for the fueling of the Ukrainian conflict and its victims”.
Biden replied to him, in an address the same day in Warsaw, that “the West is not plotting to attack Russia as Putin has said”. “The millions of Russian citizens who just want to live in peace with their neighbors are not the enemy,” he added.
“NATO will not be divided”
But he warned, the day after a surprise visit to Kiev on Monday during which he again promised arms to the Ukrainians, that the support of the United States to Ukraine “will not weaken”. “Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia, never” and “remain free”, hammered the American president, speaking of “the iron will of America”.
Vladimir Putin “thought autocrats like him were tough and democratic leaders soft, then he came up against the iron will of America and nations around the world who refuse to accept a ruled world by fear, “he said.” NATO will not be divided and we will not let go, “assured Biden, who is due to return to Washington on Wednesday evening.
On the same day, the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell announced that EU member countries would draw on their stocks to speed up the supply of arms and ammunition to Ukraine.
Suspension of the New Start Treaty
Putin made an impression by announcing the suspension of the New Start treaty on nuclear disarmament, saying he was also ready to resume nuclear testing.
An announcement shortly after mitigated by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs assuring in a press release that “Russia intends to maintain a responsible approach and will continue, during the life of the treaty, to strictly respect the quantitative limits of strategic offensive weapons”.
Signed in 2010, this treaty is the last bilateral agreement of its kind binding Russians and Americans and aims to limit their nuclear arsenals. Moscow had already announced in early August suspending planned inspections of its military sites.
Putin also called on Russian forces to stand “ready to carry out nuclear weapons tests”, in case the United States were the first to do so. A world without nuclear arms control is “much more dangerous,” said Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
During Putin’s speech, Russian forces shelled buildings in Kherson, southern Ukraine, killing at least five civilians, according to Ukrainian authorities.