Biden: Putin’s termination of US arms deal a ‘mistake’

WARSAW (AP) — President Joe Biden said Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin made a “mistake” by suspending his country’s participation in the last remaining U.S.-Russia nuclear arms control treaty.

In his first comments since Putin’s announcement on Tuesday, Biden, who is in Poland to meet with NATO’s eastern flank allies, condemned Russia’s decision to withdraw from the so-called New Start agreement.

In his address to the Russian public, Putin said Russia was pulling out of the deal because of US support for Ukraine, and he accused the US and its NATO allies of openly working for Russia’s destruction.

The decision to end Russian cooperation with the treaty’s nuclear weapons and missile tests followed Moscow’s cancellation late last year, with both sides accusing the other of violating the accord.

This is a breaking news update. AP’s previous story is below.

WARSAW (AP) — President Joe Biden It ends a four-day trip to Poland and Ukraine on Wednesday.

Biden arrived at the presidential palace before leaving for Warsaw for talks with the leaders of the Bucharest Nine, a group of countries on the eastern flanks of the NATO alliance, in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

As the war in Ukraine drags on, the concerns of the Bucharest Nine have grown. Many worry that a victory in Ukraine could prompt military action against Putin next. The alliance includes Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

“When Russia invaded, it didn’t just test Ukraine. The whole world faced an ordeal for the ages,” Biden said in a speech from the foot of Warsaw’s Royal Castle on Tuesday, marking the grim milestone of a year-long Russian invasion. “Europe is tested. America is tested. NATO is tested. All democracies are tested.

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Addressing the concerns of NATO members, Biden on Tuesday pledged America’s ironclad commitment to the mutual-defense pact and Ukraine’s defense.

“The hunger of a dictator cannot be quenched,” he said. “They must be resisted.”

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, the right-wing populist leader, argued last week that the EU was partly to blame. For prolonging Russia’s war in Ukraine, sanctions on Moscow and blocking arms supplies to Kiev. Orban skips the meeting with Biden and is replaced by President Katelyn Novak.

Putin delivered his own speech on Tuesday in which he lashed out at Ukraine and its Western allies. The Russian president also announced Moscow’s suspension Its participation in the last remaining US-Russia arms control treaty. The move is expected to have an immediate impact on US views on Russian nuclear activities, but the deal was already on life support.

Putin’s decision to end Russian cooperation with the deal’s nuclear weapons and missile tests followed Moscow’s cancellation late last year, with both sides accusing the other of violating the accord.

Biden met in Warsaw on Tuesday with Moldovan President Maia Sandu, who last week said Moscow was behind a plot to overthrow her country’s government using outside saboteurs.

The eastern European country, which includes Ukraine and Romania and one of Europe’s poorest countries, has historic ties to Russia but wants to join the 27-nation European Union. In his remarks, Biden endorsed Moldova’s bid to join the European Union.

“I am proud to stand with you and the freedom-loving people of Moldova,” Biden said of Sandu and his country in his Tuesday speech.

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Since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly a year ago, Moldova, a former Soviet republic of about 2.6 million people, has sought to build closer ties with its Western partners. Last June, on the same day as Ukraine, it was granted EU candidate status.

Chandu last week spoke of a Russian plot to “subvert the constitutional order”. He spoke after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his country had intercepted plans by Russian secret services to destroy Moldova. Those claims were later confirmed by Moldovan intelligence officials.

Biden’s speech about the war in Ukraine came a day after he made a surprise visit to Kiev, a grand gesture of solidarity with Ukraine. The address was in part an affirmation of Europe’s role in helping Ukraine fend off Russia’s continued aggression and in part a stern warning to Putin that the United States would not be bound by Moscow’s defeat of Ukraine.

The White House has praised several Eastern European countries, including Lithuania, Poland and Romania, over the past year for stepping up efforts to support Ukraine by sending arms and economic aid and taking in refugees.

Biden has paid particular attention to Poland’s efforts. The country hosts about 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees and has provided $3.8 billion in military and economic aid. to Kiev.

“The truth of the matter is: America needs Poland and NATO as much as NATO needs America,” Biden said during talks with Polish President Andrzej Duda.

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