Biden vows Russia will never win in Ukraine

'Nato will not be divided and we will not tire,' US President says as he warns war marks a global inflection point

Joe Biden gives historic speech in Poland after Ukraine visit

Joe Biden gives historic speech in Poland after Ukraine visit
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An energised US President Joe Biden took to a European stage on Tuesday to emphasise the resolve of the Nato alliance and continued support of Ukraine as Russia's war grinds towards its first anniversary.

“Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia. Never,” Mr Biden proclaimed during a historic speech in the gardens of the Royal Castle in Warsaw.

Speaking before a crowd of thousands waving Polish, American and Ukrainian flags, Mr Biden said his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin believed that Nato lacked the resolve to continue supporting Ukraine as the conflict enters its second year.

Mr Putin "doubts whether Nato can remain unified", Mr Biden said.

"But there should be no doubt: our support for Ukraine will not waver. Nato will not be divided and we will not tire."

He warned of "hard and very bitter days" to come but said Ukraine "is steeled for the fight ahead".

Mr Biden announced that Washington would intensify its sanctions regime against Russia, which already faces the largest set of sanctions and export controls ever imposed on a major economy.

His address came a day after he made a surprise visit to Kyiv, where he sought to paint a larger picture of the war before this Friday's anniversary — one of a unified, democratic world order standing against Mr Putin's authoritarian vision.

He argued that after the invasion of Ukraine, “the whole world faced a test for the ages".

“The questions we face were as simple as they were profound: Would you respond? Or would we look the other way? Would you be strong?” he said.

A fiery Polish President Andrzej Sebastian Duda introduced Mr Biden, declaring “Ukraine has to win … Ukraine will win” and joining his American counterpart in vowing Nato solidarity.

“This is the role of Nato - to defend the free world, to support the free world,” Mr Duda said.

“There is no freedom without solidarity."

Washington stressed that Mr Biden's address, and the demonstration of solidarity shown by his visit to Ukraine, marked a milestone in the West's fight against Russia.

The speech was carried live by all major TV networks in Poland, and Washington's embassy in Warsaw invited not only government officials and leaders of all political parties, but also the general public.

“It's a big moment,” White House National Security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters before the address, emphasising that Mr Biden's remarks demonstrated America's “commitment” and “staying power” on democratic values.

Mr Biden commended Poland for welcoming more than one million Ukrainian refugees.

“In that darkest moment of their lives, you, the people of Poland, offered them safety and light. You embrace them, you literally embraced them. I watched," Mr Biden said.

The US President last travelled to Poland almost a year ago, when he met Ukrainian refugees and stirred controversy with an off-the-cuff remark, saying Mr Putin “cannot remain in power”.

He also blamed Mr Putin for creating a food crisis in some of the world's poorest nations.

"Putin tried to starve the world, blocking the ports in the Black Sea to stop Ukraine from exporting its grain, exacerbating the global food crisis that has hit developing nations in Africa especially hard," Mr Biden said.

The blockade of Ukrainian exports brought on by the war, paired with record price levels for energy and basic commodities, led several nations to adopt export restrictions, "fuelling market shocks and speculative operations, leading to unpredictability in global food supply", analysis published by the EU showed.

The EU has charged that Moscow is increasingly using food shortage fears as a new weapon in its hybrid war.

The UN attributes a surge in people facing food insecurity - which affected 345 million people across 82 countries last year - to Russia's war in Ukraine.

Tuesday's speech came after Mr Putin gave a major address of his own and announced Moscow's withdrawal from the critical New Start nuclear arms treaty.

The Russian leader accused the West of playing a dirty game over Ukraine, and called on Moscow to strengthen the armed forces and shore up the wartime economy.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the decision to leave New Start, which limits the number of nuclear weapons in Russia and the US, “deeply unfortunate and irresponsible".

Washington “extended New Start because it was clearly in the security interests of our country and actually in the security interests of Russia, and that only underscores what an irresponsible action this is", he said.

Meanwhile, the Republican leader of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Mike McCaul, is leading a congressional delegation on a visit to Kyiv amid uncertainty over how long the Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, would continue to support Ukraine.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo separately said that while the US hopes for a quick end to the war, it is ready to support Ukraine for the long term.

Updated: February 21, 2023, 7:37 PM