US committed to common defence, says Biden

"Article 5 is a sacred commitment the United States has made," Biden told Bucharest Nine leaders. Marcin Obara/PAP

The US treats the common defence provision of the Nato treaty as "a sacred commitment", Biden says in Warsaw.

On the second day of his visit to Warsaw, US President Joe Biden attended a meeting of Bucharest Nine (B9), or the nine Nato members constituting the bloc's eastern flank. The meeting was also attended by Nato Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg.

"Article 5 is a sacred commitment the United States has made," Biden told the Bucharest Nine leaders. "We will defend literally every inch of Nato."

Biden came to Poland for a two-day visit on Tuesday straight after a surprise arrival in Kyiv a day before, where he met with the country's president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

Commenting on the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, Biden told the B9 leaders that not only Ukraine was at stake.

"It's freedom. The idea that over 100,000 forces would invade another country, since World War Two nothing like that has happened," the US president said. "Things have changed radically and we have to make sure we change them back."

Describing the way the West has been helping Ukraine, Biden said: "We provide critical security systems to Ukraine and critical support to literally millions of refugees," Biden said. "We helped ensure Ukrainians can access basic services and together will continue our enduring support for Ukrainians as they defend their freedom."

Biden recalled that the B9 format was set up in 2015, one year after "Russia attempted annexation of Crimea," which was Moscow's first move aimed to undermine Ukraine's sovereignty.

"Today, as we approach the one-year anniversary of Russia's further invasion, it's even more important that we continue to stand together," the US president said.

In 2014, Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine and instigated, with the help of pro-Russian separatists, the breakaway of two Ukraine eastern industrial provinces, Donetsk and Luhansk.

On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, destroying towns, cities and villages as the invading forces targeted both military and civilian infrastructure. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the war so far and Moscow shows no signs of backing down.