20232102 us president
US President Joe Biden delivers remarks ahead of the one year anniversary of Russia-Ukraine conflict. Image Credit: Reuters

Fresh from an unannounced visit to Ukraine, President Joe Biden rallied NATO allies in Poland on Tuesday, proclaiming "unwavering" support for Kyiv and a commitment to bolstering the alliance's eastern flank.

"One year ago, the world was bracing for the fall of Kyiv," Biden said at Warsaw's Royal Castle. "I can report: Kyiv stands strong, Kyiv stands proud, it stands tall and, most important, it stands free." Biden used the trip to rally support for Ukraine as the war enters its second year with no end in sight, on the same day as Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a major speech unpicking nuclear accords with Washington.

The West is not plotting to attack Russia as Putin said today. Millions of Russian citizens who only want to live in peace with their neighbours are not the enemy

- Joe Biden | US President

Read more

Earlier on Tuesday, Biden met NATO ally Polish President Andrzej Duda, one of the most vocal proponents of stronger Western support for Kyiv.

That followed an unannounced trip on Monday to Ukraine, marking the first time in recent memory that a U.S. president has made such a journey to a country at war without U.S. troops on the ground controlling the area.

"When President Putin ordered his tanks to roll into Ukraine, he thought we would roll over," Biden said. "He was wrong." Duda said Biden's visit showed U.S. commitment to maintaining security in Europe, and described Biden's stop in Kyiv as an "incredible gesture".

Poland has NATO's longest border with Ukraine and has been the main route in for weapons and out for refugees. The two leaders were expected to discuss Poland's security and scaling up NATO resources there.

"I call on all European states, NATO states, to show solidarity with Ukraine, to provide military support to Ukraine, so that they have something to fight with," said Duda. "Do not be afraid to provide this support".

Poland was under communist rule for four decades until 1989 and was a member of the Moscow-led Warsaw Pact security alliance. It is now part of the European Union and NATO.