Biden assures Poland of US commitment on Ukraine
March 19, 2014
US Vice President Joe Biden and Polish PM Donald Tusk
US Vice President Joe Biden, on visit to Poland on Tuesday, condemned Russia's actions in Crimea what he called a “land grab”, and promised Poland and the Baltic states that his country would protect them from any Russian aggression.
Biden is traveling to Warsaw and Vilnius, Lithuania, to reassure about his country’s military support for its allies alarmed by the Crimean crisis.
“We join Poland and the international community in condemning the continuing assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Biden said during a joint press conference with Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk.
Polish PM said that the annexation of Crimea increases risks in the CEE region and constitutes a challenge for the entire free world,.
"The actual annexation of Crimea by Russia, an annexation that is unacceptable to the international community including Poland, changes overnight the borders of states", Tusk said. " It changes the geopolitical situation in this part of the world.”
He added that “Only Euro-Atlantic solidarity will allow us to prepare sufficient and strong reactions to Russia’s aggression.”
Biden said the events in Crimea were a reminder to NATO members that they need to stand together. He said the United States would honor the NATO agreement that guarantees a collective response to a threat to member state. He also said US would offer increased technical assistance to help modernize the Polish armed forces and more ground and naval military exercises to help Baltic states near Russia beef up their capacity.
The United States will continue its missile shield project according to schedule, including the deployment of part of it in Poland, Biden also said. He said it was on track and would be operational by 2018.
From Warsaw, Biden is flying to Lithuania's capital, Vilnius, where on Wednesday he will meet Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite and Latvian President Andris Berzins.