Fresh off his visit to Ukraine, US President Joe Biden will gather NATO’s eastern allies in Poland on Wednesday (February 22), a group of countries that are mostly, but not all, strong supporters of military assistance to Ukraine.

Biden used the trip to drum up support for Ukraine as the war enters its second year, with no end in sight, and came on the same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a speech in which he accused the West of seeking to destroy Russia and faltered under the threat of nuclear war.
Before returning to Washington on Wednesday, Biden will meet with the leaders of the Bucharest Nine, the countries on NATO’s eastern flank, to reaffirm support for their security.

“The Bucharest Nine was founded on November 4, 2015, in Bucharest at the initiative of Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and Polish President Andrzej Duda during a bilateral meeting between them. It gathers the presidents of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda’s message to Biden will be that his government wants “greater U.S. involvement in Europe, on the eastern flank of NATO, and of course more assistance to Ukraine,” his chief foreign policy adviser, Asta Skaisgirite, told Lithuanian Radio on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Biden disputed Putin’s assessment that the West is a threat to Russia, but reiterated his pledge to defend “every inch” of NATO territory if it is attacked.

And he confirmed comments made by a White House spokesman who said Washington would announce additional sanctions this week against individuals and companies “trying to evade sanctions and fill the Russian war machine.”

While Biden was in Kyiv on Monday, the US State Department announced additional support for Ukraine, including $450 million for artillery ammunition, anti-tank armor systems and air defense radars, and $10 million for energy infrastructure.

Putin, meanwhile, in his long-awaited address defended his decision to go to war and vowed to win. He also hailed Russia’s nuclear arsenal, announced the suspension of the New START arms control treaty with the United States, claimed that new strategic systems had been put on alert, and warned that Moscow could resume nuclear testing.