BREAKING NEWS: US president calls Poland’s path to democracy a model for Ukraine
June 4, 2014
US President Barrack Obama
US President Barack Obama held out Poland, a country that helped bring an end to communism in Europe, as a model for the neighboring Ukraine during an address in Warsaw's Zamkowy Square at a ceremony marking 25 years since Poland held its first partially-free election, pushing off years of Soviet domination and Communist rule.
“The Ukrainians of today are the heirs of Solidarity — men and women like you who dared to challenge a bankrupt regime,” President Obama said. “When your peaceful protests were met with an iron fist, Poles placed flowers in the shipyard gate. Today, Ukrainians honor their fallen with flowers in Independence Square.”
President Obama pointed also to Poland's economic achievements in the last 25 years under democratic rule as likely the prospects for Ukraine under its new leaders.
US president warned Russia that the free world is united against its “dark tactics” to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty.
“We stand together because we believe that people and nations have the right to determine their own destiny — that includes the people of Ukraine,” Obama said. “Our free nations will stand united so that further Russian provocations will only mean more isolation and costs for Russia,” Obama said. “Because after investing so much blood and treasure to bring Europe together, we refuse to allow the dark tactics of the 20th century to define the 21st.”
President Obama also said that “the days of empires and spheres of influence are over.” “Bigger nations must not be allowed to bully the small, or impose their will at the barrel of a gun or with masked men taking over buildings,” he said. “And the stroke of a pen can never legitimize the theft of a neighbor’s land. So we will never accept Russia’s occupation of Crimea or its violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty.”
Earlier on Tuesday during a joint conference with the Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski the US President said he would ask the Congress for spending another USD 1 billion on increasing the US military presence in Europe through a higher number of training missions and military exercise in the face of Russia’s aggression.
He reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to Poland’s security under the NATO alliance. “These are not just words,” Obama said. “They are unbreakable commitments backed by the strongest alliance in the world and by the armed forces of the United States of America: the most powerful military in history.”
The U.S. leader also assured other east European NATO allies that the United States would defend their territorial integrity.
"Poland will never stand alone. Estonia will never stand alone. Latvia will never stand alone. Lithuania will never stand alone. Romania will never stand alone," Obama said.