Obama Pledges Solidarity With Poland, Kicks Off His Four-Day Europe Trip
As the crisis in the Ukraine continues, President Obama arrived in Poland Tuesday, the first stop on a four-day Europe trip. While addressing about 50 Polish and American troops in Warsaw, Obama pledged his solidarity with Poland and laid out plans for new security and training measures for Polish soldiers. He acknowledged that the Eastern European country is one of America's "strongest allies," reassuring Poland and its neighbors that they have U.S. support as political tension swells in the Ukraine.
"I’m starting the visit here because our commitment to Poland’s security as well as the security of our allies in central and eastern Europe is a cornerstone of our own security and is sacrosanct," the president told press. "As friends and allies we stand united together."
Obama, with Polish President Bronisław Komorowski at his side, elaborated on the "European Resistance Initiative " which will increase the presence of U.S. troops in Poland. The resistance will focus on training exercises and the pre-positioning of military equipment, as well as deploy U.S. navy ships to the Baltic and Black seas. Obama added that he's asking Congress for $1 billion to fund the resistance, with the ultimate goal of strengthening the powers of Poland and neighboring Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
After addressing the American and Polish troops at the Lask Air Force Base, Obama will meet privately with Komorowski and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk to discuss the situation in the Ukraine, NATO relations and the U.S.-Poland alliance, said White House Press Secretary Caitlin Hayden. The U.S. and Poland will also hold a meeting with leaders from other allied nations, including Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Romania and Lithuania.
Obama will meet with Ukraine President-elect Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday to declare his solidarity with the people of the Ukraine. The results of the Ukraine presidential election, which took place May 25, were just certified on Monday. Despite the heavy presence of pro-Russian militants in the eastern and southern Ukraine, Poroshenko won every oblast [province] due to increased turnout in the western Ukraine.
Obama will end his overseas trip Friday in Normandy, France, to pay tribute to the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Obama plans to deliver a speech at Omaha Beach — the site of the deadly World War II battle — and meet with French President Hollande.