US ready to defend eastern NATO members
Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) US President Joe Biden pointed out during his visit to Warsaw that the US “will defend every inch of NATO.”
Speaking at the NATO meeting with the Bucharest Nine in Warsaw, he noted that Russia suspended a nuclear weapons control treaty and described the move as a “big mistake,” according to Reuters reporting on Wednesday.
Biden reminded that Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the West earlier on Wednesday and Western powers for the war in Ukraine, stressing that the West was not planning to attack Russia and adding that the war in Ukraine was Putin’s choice.
“The commitment of the United States to NATO… is absolutely clear,” Biden stated and added, “Article 5 is a sacred commitment the United States has made… we will defend literally every inch of NATO, every inch of NATO.”
According to Article 5 of the founding treaty, an attack on one member of the alliance is regarded as an attack on all of them and requires a joint response.
The Bucharest Nine was formed in 2015 at Romania and Poland’s initiative and comprises Eastern European countries that were part of the former Warsaw Pact or part of the former Soviet Union.
“As NATO’s eastern flank, you are the front line of our collective defense,” Biden noted and added, “you know better than anyone what is at stake in this conflict… not just for Ukraine, but for the freedom of democracies throughout Europe and around the world.”
Importance of deterrence
The Bucharest Nine reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening NATO’s military presence in the region to deter Russia. In a joint statement released after the meeting, the countries stressed “Russia is the most significant and direct threat to allied security.”
“Ukraine is exercising its legitimate right to defend itself against the Russian aggression to regain full control of its territory,” the group pointed out and concluded “we will continue to support Ukraine’s efforts to this end as long as necessary.”
Speaking before the meeting on Wednesday, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó called for an end to hostilities and peace negotiations to prevent the conflict in Ukraine from escalating.
“Having seen and listened to the speeches by the presidents of the US and Russia yesterday, I think they would have made humanity a much bigger service by talking to each other,” he concluded.
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