President Biden meets US troops stationed in Poland

US President Joe Biden, who is on a two-day visit to Poland, met with soldiers of the elite 82nd Airborne Division in Rzeszów, south-eastern Poland on Friday.

Biden said at the meeting that a fight was in progress between democracy and oligarchy, that democracy demanded consensus and that now was the time of a test.

He told the troops they were in a new phase and that their generation stood at a turning point, that every four of five generations a moment came that changed everything fundamentally. He also said the world would never be the same again.

According to Biden, it was not hyperbole to say they were the best fighting force in the history of the world, going on to thank them for their service.

He said Americans were bound by the idea that everyone is different and that the USA was the only country in the world not organised on the basis of geography, nationality, religion or race. He said the troops represented 1 percent of the American nation and had all volunteered for the duty of ensuring the remaining 99 percent could sleep soundly.

Also US Defence secretary Lloyd Austin took part in the meeting with US soldiers.

After meeting the troops, Biden sat down with them to a meal of pizza.

Biden came to Poland straight from Brussels, where he attended an extraordinary Nato summit, a European Council meeting and a G7 summit on Thursday, as Western leaders are trying to align their policies in face of Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

Explaining the rationale behind Biden's visit to Poland, the US national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, reiterated Poland's role as a Nato flank country and its hosting of US armed forces.

According to Sullivan, Biden may discuss long-term changes in Nato troop deployments on the alliance's eastern flank.

A planned meeting between Biden and his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda, was delayed due to a malfunction in Duda's presidential plane. The two heads of state were also scheduled to meet NGOs helping Ukrainian refugees, after which Biden will travel to Warsaw where he will continue talks with Duda on Saturday.

Also on Saturday, Biden will deliver an address at the Royal Castle in Warsaw and will visit the city's National Stadium, which has been turned into an assistance point for Ukrainian refugees.

Biden's visit will be the 14th by a US president to Poland.