Joe Biden took his time. Relaxed, enjoying the time spent in the company of the soldiers of the 82nd 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 82nd 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 about them obviously contrasted with the distance maintained by Vladimir Putin vis-à-vis his own soldiers, dead or wounded by the thousands in a war that he still refuses to name and cannot justify. The Russian president, “the war criminal”, repeated Joe Biden, this time alongside his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda.
The Vice-President, Kamala Harris, the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin: for the past month, American officials have paraded in Warsaw with unprecedented frequency, giving the measure of the importance accorded 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 stressed that this country “not only has to 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, most of them destined to stay there. “We don’t call them ‘refugees’, ” Andrzej Duda told Joe Biden. They are our guests, our brothers, our neighbors from Ukraine. »