Biden to 'message' Putin in Poland speech: White House
US President Joe Biden is to address his Russian counterpart and the Russian people from Warsaw's Royal Castle on Tuesday.
US President Joe Biden is to address his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Warsaw next week while saluting NATO's role in Ukraine as the war reaches its one-year mark.
The White House announced that Biden plans to give a speech in Poland, a key US ally and fulcrum of many efforts to arm Ukraine and receive refugees, on Tuesday. That same day, Putin is set to give a speech in Moscow, three days away from the February 24 anniversary of the military operation.
Biden will be commemorating the partnership between NATO countries and the Ukrainian military. He will also touch down in Warsaw on Tuesday and meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda. He is set to meet with the leaders of the Bucharest Nine on Wednesday, a group of NATO members in eastern Europe - Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.
Additionally, he will speak with the leaders of Britain, France, and Italy over the phone, the White House announced. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is due in Washington on March 3.
Biden, in his speech, will touch on "how the United States has rallied the world to support the people of Ukraine as they defend their freedom and democracy," National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby said.
"President Biden will make it clear that the United States will continue to stand with Ukraine... for as long as it takes," he told reporters on Friday.
"You'll hear messages in the president's speech that will certainly resonate with the American people, certainly will resonate with our allies and partners, without question resonate with the Polish people," Kirby said.
He added that Biden is expected to be messaging Putin as well, as well as the Russian people.
Kirby stated that Biden has no plans to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky or travel to Ukraine during the trip, which he has not done due to the tight security surrounding US presidents since the war began.
'Time is critical'
The White House would not say what specific aid Biden might announce during his visit, but Kirby said Ukraine will be reassured of "continued tangible support."
It is worth noting that the US provided far more than any other NATO country to Ukraine, with military, economic, and other aid exceeding $100 billion. That includes a $47 billion package approved by Congress in December, which Kirby said was in the early stages of being disbursed.
During the early days of the war, the US-led western efforts to rush anti-tank rockets to Ukraine.
NATO countries are sending modern tanks, as well as a large number of armored fighting vehicles, such as the tank-killing US Bradley, which will be critical to Ukraine's expected offensive in the spring.
Zelensky is constantly pleading for more weapons, warning that Russia, too, is "planning an offensive once the brutal eastern European winter is over." "You can hardly blame him can you?" Kirby said. "We also understand the clock and we know that time is critical here."
It is worth noting that Biden has so far navigated potential revolts in Congress over the flood of money into Ukraine.