U.S. President Joe Biden on Saturday attended a meeting in Warsaw between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, and the Ukrainian Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence, Dmytro Kuleba and Olekseii Reznikov respectively.
This was the first meeting between the U.S. President and top Ukrainian officials since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.
Biden, who arrived in Poland on Friday after a series of international meetings in Brussels, also met Polish President Anderzij Duda on Saturday. Poland has received threats from Moscow for sending military aid to Ukraine and, at their meeting, Biden assured Duda of U.S. support. “We take Article 5 as a sacred commitment,” Biden said in a reference to NATO’s mutual defence clause.
Meeting on the previous day with members of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division stationed in Poland, Biden told the servicemen and women that they were at the centre of a fight between democracy and autocracy and stressed the importance of their involvement.
He also praised the courage of the Ukrainian people which, he said, recalled the events of Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989, and again described Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “war criminal.”
At a meeting on Saturday with Ukrainian refugees in Poland, Biden doubled down on his criticism of Putin, calling him a "butcher," Belga reports.