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'We stand with you': Biden assures Ukrainians amid Russia invasion

Joe Biden
Posted at 12:35 PM, Mar 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-26 14:28:13-04

WARSAW, Poland -- President Joe Biden began his speech Saturday at the Royal Castle in Warsaw by referencing Pope John Paul II's message to the Soviet Union in 1979.

“Be not afraid,” he said.

In what was billed by the White House as a major address, Biden spoke in front of the Royal Castle, one of Warsaw’s notable landmarks that was badly damaged during War II.

When addressing the people of Ukraine, Biden said, "We stand with you. Period."

Biden called for Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s removal, saying, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”

Biden also used a speech in Poland’s capital to make a vociferous defense of liberal democracy and the NATO military alliance, while also saying Europe must steel itself for a long fight against Russian aggression.

The President even warned Putin to not "even think about moving on one single inch of NATO territory."

“American forces are not in Europe to engage in conflict with Russian forces, American forces are here to defend NATO allies,” he said.

Biden spoke about how Putin had "strangled democracy" for his country's invasion of Ukraine.

WATCH RECAP:

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda welcomed President Biden’s assurances while visiting the Polish capital on Saturday that NATO would guarantee his country’s security.

He said the assurances were all the more important as Russia is carrying out brutal assaults in Ukraine, just across Poland’s eastern border.

“I think that for us Poles, in the situation we have today, in our part of Europe, in the era of Russian aggression against Ukraine, this is a very important element,” Duda said.

Duda, speaking after meeting Biden, said that he also urged the United States to speed up its planned delivery of weapons to Poland.

Duda noted that under contracts already concluded with the U.S., Poland is set to receive Patriot missile sets, artillery rocket launchers, F-35 fighter jets and 250 Abrams tanks.

“I asked the U.S. president, Joe Biden, to accelerate, as much as possible, those purchasing programs that are already being implemented in order to strengthen our security,” the Polish leader said.

After meeting with refugees, Biden was asked by reporters his thoughts on Russian President Vladimir Putin. In response, he called him a "butcher."

During the brief question and answer session at Stadion Narodowy, Biden recounted how he had been to places like this in his life, but said he is always surprised by "The depth and strength of the human spirit."

President Biden gave short comments during bilat with the Polish president.

"It's important that we are in constant contact. It's about how we each wish to proceed relative to what Russia is doing and how to proceed," Biden said. "And so I just want to thank you, Mr. President, for being available... for being so cooperative... for being and letting us know exactly what's on your mind. What's on the mind of the Polish people, what their concerns are and what they think our responsibilities are. But, I'll end where I began and that is... we take as a sacred obligation, article five. Sacred obligation of article five. And you can count on that and not just - I'll end where I began: for your freedom, like ours. So thank you very much."