WARSAW (Fwrd Axis) — President Joe Biden will give a major speech in Poland on Saturday, calling on the “free world” to unite against Russian President Vladimir Putin amid the ongoing war in Ukraine that has worsened in recent weeks and will likely intensify.
Prior to his speech, Biden will meet with Secretaries Antony Blinken and Lloyd Austin along with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov. He will then meet with Ukrainian refugees who have relocated to Poland following Russia’s invasion late last month.
“He will speak to the stakes of this moment, the urgency of the challenge that lies ahead, what the conflict in Ukraine means for the world, and why it is so important that the free world sustain unity and resolve in the face of Russian aggression,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.
The speech will cap off three days in Europe for Biden, who held high-stakes meetings with world leaders, seeking to unify the West allies and ramp up the pressure on Putin to end the war in Ukraine. The President’s speech will likely be used to lay the groundwork for what will be a long, tough road to end the war.
“This could go on for quite some time, and to sustain that unity as costs rise, as the tragedy unfolds, that’s hard work,” said Sullivan. “And the president wanted to get everyone together to say, we’ve got to do that work.”
The news comes following Biden saying the United States and NATO ‘would respond’ if Russia uses chemical weapons in a press conference Thursday following his meeting with NATO leaders in Brussels.
“We would respond,” he said. “We would respond if he uses it, and the nature of the response would depend on the nature of the use.”
The U.S. has also confirmed the relocation of over 100,000 refugees from Ukraine as they flee from Russian forces, $1 billion in humanitarian assistance, and new sanctions against Russia, including targeting the majority of the Duma and several wealthy Russians.
However, Biden did acknowledge the actions taken by the U.S. and its allies would do little to pressure Putin to stop the war immediately, rather taking the slow approach in the hopes over time that Putin would feel the pressure of the sanctions and decide to end the war.
“Sanctions never deter,” Biden said in response to a question ABC News’ Cecilia Vega. “The maintenance of sanctions, the increasing the pain and the demonstration — why I asked for this NATO meeting today — is to be sure that, after a month, we will sustain what we’re doing — not just next month, the following month, but for the remainder of this entire year. That’s what will stop him.”