Date: 6 March 2023

U.S. President Joe Biden Arrives In Kyiv And Warsaw

U.S. President Joe Biden traveled to Poland and Ukraine on February 20–23. While the White House announced Biden would visit Poland, the U.S. leader traveled into a war zone in Ukraine amid a cloak of secrecy. In Kyiv, he met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky while in Warsaw he addressed Poles in a speech and attended an extraordinary summit of the Bucharest Nine.

SOURCE: WOJTEK RADWANSKI / AFP

After touching down in Poland, President Biden traveled covertly by train to the besieged Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. President Biden made a surprise trip to the capital of embattled Ukraine on February 20, also to mark the Day of Commemoration of the Heavenly Hundred to remember around 100 protesters killed in Maidan in 2014. The Ukrainian president, his wife Olena, and the U.S. leader participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the foot of a memorial to Ukraine’s “Heavenly Hundred.” The visit to Ukraine marked a historic trip for a U.S. president to a war-stricken country with no U.S. military present. Biden said his visit was intended to reaffirm American backing for Ukraine’s sovereignty. Biden added a coalition of nations for the Atlantic to the Pacific was formed to fend off the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. leader also announced a significant new package of security assistance for Ukraine to include artillery ammunition and anti-tank missiles. “This conversation brings us closer to victory,” Zelensky said, speaking alongside Biden.
 
The Polish and U.S. leaders and other officials met the next day in Warsaw to discuss stability and security in the region due to military and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. The U.S.-Polish alliance also surged on the agenda.
 
A remarkable moment was when Joe Biden held a speech in front of the Royal Castle in Warsaw. Typically for U.S. leaders, Biden referred to core values including democracy, freedom, and sovereignty, saying it is key to stand guard over them in this new world. Biden thanked Poles for their willingness to open hearts and homes to the people of Ukraine. He also reiterated NATO allies’ commitment to supporting Ukraine “for as long as it takes.” It is the only way to ensure the restoration of peace and security in the region, he claimed.
 
Joe Biden met with leaders of the eastern flank of NATO, or the Bucharest Nine, on Wednesday. Other attendees included NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the presidents of Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Hungary as well as the Czech prime minister. NATO’s eastern flank countries condemned Moscow’s war on Ukraine, pledging a stronger NATO presence on the eastern wing of the alliance. The U.S. leader also reaffirmed Washington’s support to allies.
 
Biden visited Poland and Ukraine in a show of support. The timing of Biden’s trip was hardly a coincidence––the U.S. leader visited Poland and Ukraine a day before the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The visit also coincided with Putin’s address to the Federal Assembly. Biden’s trip to Poland and Ukraine made headlines around the world. A Tagesspiegel article said it was quite visible that the center of gravity had moved here to Warsaw from Berlin while the visit was arguably the most consequential made by any US president to a European country since the end of the cold war, according to The Guardian.

 
Dawid Krupa is a fourth-year law student at the Faculty of Law and Administration at Warsaw University. He has worked with various cultural institutions such as the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, the Warsaw Uprising Museum and the Forum for Dialogue Foundation. His interests include national politics, international relations, religious studies and gardening.

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