President Joe Biden will visit Poland this month to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, returning to the region as the war enters a volatile new phase without a clear path to peace.
The president is planning to visit Poland from February 20 to 22. The White House said he would meet Poland’s President Duda and other leaders from the region. He’ll deliver remarks ahead of the official anniversary on February 24.
Biden’s aides have been planning for several weeks how they will mark the anniversary of the invasion, including potentially a major address. They hope to emphasize the resilience of the Ukrainian people while stressing the importance of unity in the uncertain months ahead.
The US president hopes to reiterate American support for Ukraine on his upcoming trip to the region, a top White House official said, including making clear additional assistance would be forthcoming.
“He wants to talk about the importance of the international community’s resolve and unity in supporting Ukraine for now going on a year,” said John Kirby, the strategic communications coordinator at the National Security Council.
Preparing for an offensive: Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky is currently preparing for an expected Russian offensive in the spring, appealing to Western governments for additional assistance and weaponry — including fighter jets and tanks — to help sustain the fight. He visited London, Paris and Brussels this week to deliver his requests in person, a rare trip outside his country that lent his appeals new urgency.
Some background: Polish President Andrzej Duda said allied relations are “stronger than ever” after the White House’s announcement.
Biden last visited Poland, a key NATO ally, in April, traveling near the Ukraine border to visit with US and Polish troops. He also met with refugees fleeing Ukraine after the invasion.
In a speech delivered from the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Biden said for the first time that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power,” edging toward calling for regime change in Moscow.