Russian President Vladimir Putin’s resolution to tug overseas’s sole remaining nuclear arms management treaty with the U.S. was a “massive mistake,” President Biden stated Wednesday, the most recent volley in a diplomatic showdown between Washington and Moscow because the president wraps up a four-day journey to the area.
Biden weighed in on the Kremlin’s announcement as he arrived on the presidential palace in Warsaw, the place he met with leaders of countries from the NATO alliance’s jap flank amid unease over Russia’s ongoing assault in Ukraine.
The Bucharest 9 — Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia — was fashioned within the wake of Putin’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. Leaders fear a Russian victory in Ukraine may embolden Putin to invade different international locations on the jap fringe of Europe.
Putin introduced this week throughout his annual parliamentary deal with that he was suspending cooperation with the New START nuclear nonproliferation settlement, ratcheting up tensions with Washington as he faulted Ukraine and Western allies for beginning the struggle. The Russian chief’s announcement got here hours earlier than Biden delivered remarks at Warsaw’s Royal Fortress to mark the anniversary of Moscow’s assault on Ukraine a yr in the past.
“It was an enormous mistake,” stated Biden, bearing a black smudge on his brow to mark Ash Wednesday, the primary day of Lent.
Biden prolonged the New START treaty with Russia for an extra 5 years when he took workplace, arguing it was in one of the best safety pursuits of each international locations.
The assembly places an exclamation level on Biden’s journey to Poland and shock cease in Ukraine to focus on the U.S. and Western allies’ continued dedication to help Kyiv within the face of Russian aggression because the struggle stretches right into a second yr.
“You’re the entrance strains of our collective protection,” Biden instructed the group of leaders. “And you realize, higher than anybody, what’s at stake on this battle. Not only for Ukraine, however for the liberty of democracies all through Europe and world wide.”
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis stated the struggle has “introduced nothing however struggling and despair, killing and displacing of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians.”
“We the leaders of the jap flank have the obligation to face agency in protection of our peace,” Iohannis instructed the group.
This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Times.