Vice President Biden and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk reaffirmed their countries’ mutual commitments as NATO allies.
Vice President Joe Biden recently traveled to Poland to express America’s strong support for Poland as a close ally and friend in the wake of Russia’s “land grab” in Crimea. The U.S. joins Poland and the international community in condemning the continuing violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The United States has imposed a series of sanctions against Russia in response to its attempted annexation of Crimea. “Russia’s political and economic isolation,” said Vice President Biden, “will only increase if it continues down its current path.”
At the same time, the U.S. is supporting the Ukrainian government with a billion-dollar loan guarantee, technical assistance to prepare for free and fair elections, and support for reforms that will allow the International Monetary Fund to provide a stabilization package for the country.
Vice President Biden and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk reaffirmed their countries’ mutual commitments as NATO allies. “The United States and Poland stand shoulder-to-shoulder,” said Vice President Biden, “in vital missions around the world. But recent events remind us that the bedrock of our alliance remains collective self-defense, as enshrined in Article 5 of the NATO Treaty.”
As evidence of that commitment, the U.S. has deployed 12 F-16 fighter jets to the Lask Airbase in Poland. Moreover, the U.S. has augmented its rotation of NATO’s Baltic air policing program protecting the skies over Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
Vice President Biden affirmed that U.S. plans for implementing a European phased adaptive approach to ballistic missile defense remain on target, including an operational missile defense site in Poland by 2018.
Both leaders also discussed ways to further diversify Europe’s source and supplies of energy. This will help improve energy security and will ensure that no nation can use the supply of gas as a political weapon against any other nation.
The United States is profoundly grateful to Poland for its steadfast friendship. Poland has set the standard, said Vice President Biden, “for what a country can achieve when it has the courage to reach for its freedom. And we look forward to continue to work very closely together in the days ahead.”