Biden says democracies must stay united in face of Russian aggression
US President Joe Biden, who is on a two-day visit to Poland, said ahead of talks with his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda, that the most important thing the West can do is to stay united.
"The single most important thing we can do from the outset is keep the democracies united in our opposition and effort to curtail the devastation that is occurring at the hands of a man who, quite frankly, I think is a war criminal, and I think will meet the legal definition of that as well," Biden said in Jasionka, near Rzeszow in southeastern Poland.
"I want to thank everyone for, I think has been a surprise, that we all stayed together across the board, most severe punishing sanctions in the history of the world, economic sanctions that have been imposed and more that will come," Biden continued.
The Polish president told his American counterpart that his visit was a great show of unity within the framework of the North Atlantic Alliance, and of the USA's importance for the stability of world peace, "for returning peace to places where difficult situations are happening, where someone engages in acts of aggression against other democratic, free nations.
"Your presence… is a great sign of support, alliance unity and caring for mutual relations and for the security of the Polish Republic," Duda added.
During a meeting with NGOs engaged in a humanitarian aid, Biden said that he is in Poland to see first hand the humanitarian crisis. "Quite frankly one of my disappointments is that I can't see it first hand like I did in other places," the US president said and added that he was not allowed to cross the border.
More than 2 million Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Poland since Russia invaded on February 24. Biden said 10 million people had been forced to leave their homes and 3.8 million had escaped to other countries, including a million children, and that 12 million were in need of help.
Biden went on to say that the West needs to make a greater effort and coordinate aid with the Ukrainian government, as they know what their needs are.
He said even Poles, who know Ukrainians well, must be surprised by the "courage and passion and resilience of Ukrainian people" and by the resistance they had put up to Russian forces.
Biden also highlighted that the US had made a billion dollars available "for those who fled and those who are affected around the world as a consequences and negative impact of this war."