Biden meets with Ukrainian leaders in Poland

President Joe Biden spoke with top Ukrainian government officials Saturday during his visit to the Polish capital to show support for NATO’s eastern flank in the face of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Biden took part in talks between Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba and Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

The United States expressed “unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

Kuleba told reporters that Ukraine has received assurances from the United States to provide additional security and defense assistance.

“President Biden said that what is happening in Ukraine will change the history of the 21st century, and we will work together to make that change be in our favor, in favor of Ukraine, in favor of the democratic world,” Kuleba said.

Biden gave a speech dedicated to “the united efforts of the free world to support the people of Ukraine, to hold Russia accountable for its brutal war.”

Biden also visited a refugee reception center at the National Stadium in Warsaw. More than 2 million people have fled the war to Poland out of an estimated 3.8 million people who fled Ukraine after the Russian invasion began.

At their meeting, Biden and Duda were expected to discuss the possible transfer of combat aircraft to Ukraine and other security guarantees to Kiev.

Washington, seeking to avoid direct conflict with Russia, earlier this month rejected Poland’s surprise offer to transfer its MiG-29 fighter jets to a U.S. base in Germany to replenish the Ukrainian air force’s arsenal.

Now Poland wants to speed up the purchase of U.S. Patriot SAMs, F35 fighter jets and tanks for its own security, as well as to get confirmation of NATO’s commitment to defend the alliance’s member states.

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