President Joe Biden stated on Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to halt his nation’s participation in the final nuclear arms control agreement between the United States and Russia was a “huge mistake.”
The American president was in Poland to reassure NATO members on the eastern flank that the U.S. would stand by their sides as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues.
The move is anticipated to have an immediate impact on U.S. visibility into Russian nuclear activities, but the pact was already on life support following Moscow’s cancellation late last year of talks that had been intended to salvage an agreement that both sides have accused the other of undermining.
It’s a serious error, Biden added.
With talks with the leaders of the Bucharest Nine, a group of countries in the most eastern parts of the NATO alliance that banded together in response to Putin’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, the president made his remarks as he was wrapping up a quick, four-day trip to Poland and Ukraine.
The Bucharest Nine nations’ concerns have remained elevated while the Ukraine conflict continues.
Many are concerned that if Putin succeeds in Ukraine, he will seek to take military action against them. Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia are all members of the alliance.
The group is our collective frontline of defense, Biden remarked on Wednesday. And you understand the issues at stake in this fight better than anyone. not only for Ukraine but also for the independence of democracy in Europe and beyond.
He vowed that “we would protect absolutely every inch of NATO” and described the mutual defense pact between NATO as “holy.”
A day earlier, at the foot of Warsaw’s Royal Castle to commemorate the melancholy anniversary of the Soviet invasion, Biden issued a dire warning that, if left unchecked, Russian aggression will not end at Ukraine’s borders.
The autocrat’s appetites cannot be satisfied, he declared. “They must be against them.”
Right-wing populist leader Viktor Orban of Hungary, who last week said that the European Union was partially to blame for the extension of Russia’s war in Ukraine, has objected to sanctions against Moscow and arming Kyiv. President Katalin Novák attended the meeting with Biden instead of Orban, who was skipping it.
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis claimed that “The B9 is stronger than ever” despite this.
We don’t know when the conflict will finish, but when it does, we need to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself, said Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO, who was present at the conference.
He continued that we must allow Russia to continue to undermine European security, citing previous Russian activities in Georgia and Ukraine.
President Maia Sandu of Moldova, who last week alleged that Moscow was behind a conspiracy to destabilize her government using foreign saboteurs, met with Biden on Tuesday in Warsaw.
The Eastern European country, one of the poorest in Europe and sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, has historical links to Russia but wants to join the 27-nation European Union. In his speech, Biden supported Moldova’s application to join the EU.
In his speech on Tuesday, Biden praised Sandu and her home nation of Moldova, saying, “I’m delighted to stand with you and the freedom-loving people of Moldova.”
Moldova, a former Soviet republic with a population of around 2.6 million, has worked to develop tighter connections with its Western allies since Moscow invaded Ukraine almost a year ago. In June of last year, it received an EU candidate