US President Barack Obama marked 25 years since the fall of communism in Poland by pledging his commitment to eastern Europe as well as the US’s support for Ukraine.
Speaking in front of dignitaries and members of royalty in Warsaw, he highlighted Poland’s progress as a ray of hope for the neigbouring country and confirmed America’s promise to stand beside its NATO allies.
“Article 5 is clear,” stated Obama. “An attack on one is an attack on all. And as allies we have a solemn duty, a binding treaty obligation, to defend your territorial integrity and we will. We stand together now and forever. For your freedom is ours. Poland will never stand alone. But not just Poland. Estonia will never stand alone. Latvia will never stand alone. Lithuania will never stand alone. Romania will never stand alone.”
He compared Poland’s struggle against occupation to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, reiterating the need for consequences if Russia continues to provoke its neighbour.
“Bigger nations must not be allowed to bully the small, or impose their will at the barrel of a gun, or with masked men taking over buildings,” he said. “And the stroke of a pen can never legitimise the theft of a neighbour’s land. So we will not accept Russia’s occupation of Crimea or its violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty. Our free nations will stand united so that further Russian provocations will only mean more isolation and costs for Russia!”
Obama is due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday June 6 during D-Day commemorations in France.