Joe Biden took his time. Relaxed, enjoying the time spent in the company of the soldiers of the 82e American Airborne Division, the tenant of the White House shook hands, posed for selfies and shared a piece of pizza at the table. On this Friday, March 25, Joe Biden was in Rzeszow, just 80 kilometers from the Ukrainian border, during the first day of his official visit to Poland, after the extraordinary NATO summit held the day before in Brussels. The soldiers of the 82e airborne division symbolize the reinforced military presence of the United States on the eastern flank of Europe.
This familiarity with the troops, the warm words spoken to them obviously appeared in contrast to the distance maintained by Vladimir Putin with his own soldiers, dead or wounded by the thousands in a war which he still refuses to name and cannot justify. The Russian President, “war criminal” repeated Joe Biden, this time alongside his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda.
Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin: for the past month, American officials have marched through Warsaw with unprecedented frequency, showing the importance given to Poland . It is due to its security exposure, first of all, on NATO’s eastern flank. On March 22, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan pointed out that this country “must not only deal with the war in Ukraine but also with the Russian military deployment in Belarus, which has fundamentally changed the security equation there”.
Poland has also become the preferred humanitarian platform for welcoming Ukrainian refugees. They are already 2.2 million to have entered the country, the majority being destined to remain there. “We don’t call them ‘refugees’, clarified Andrzej Duda in front of Joe Biden. They are our guests, our brothers, our neighbors from Ukraine. »
Warsaw monopolized by national security issues
Poland is upset, in every sense of the word, by the war. A prodigious compassion and surge of solidarity run through society vis-à-vis the Ukrainians, revealing unsuspected forms of mobilization.
On a political level, the country has – temporarily – overcome the internal confrontation, which has torn it apart for several years, around questions of the rule of law and individual freedoms. Especially since the European Union, too, has reviewed its priorities and put on hold its attempts to punish the Polish nationalist right. Today, Warsaw is monopolized by national security issues.
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