World

US President Joe Biden Meets Ukraine’s Top Minister Amid Russian Invasion

Joe Biden praised the Ukrainians for showing the “backbone” against Russian aggression

Warsaw:

Joe Biden on Saturday met in Warsaw with two Ukrainian ministers in the first face -to -face talks between the U.S. president and top Kyiv officials since the Russian invasion began.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov made infrequent visits out of Ukraine as a sign of growing confidence in the fight against the Russian military.

The meeting took place at the Marriott Hotel in the city center – opposite Warsaw train station where there has been a steady flow of Ukrainian refugees since the conflict began.

Biden can be seen sitting at a long white table between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, facing Kuleba and Reznikov, an AFP reporter said.

There are Ukrainian and US flags in the background.

The last time Biden met Kuleba was in Washington on February 22 – two days before Russia launched its offensive.

Since then, Kuleba has also met with Blinken in Poland adjacent to the border with Ukraine on March 5.

Biden is on the second and final day of a visit to Poland after he met with EU and NATO leaders in Brussels earlier this week.

On Friday, he met with U.S. troops stationed in Poland near the Ukrainian border and with aid workers helping refugees escape the conflict.

He praised Ukrainians for showing “backbone” against Russian aggression and compared their resistance to the pro-democracy protests of Tiananmen Square in China in 1989.

“This is Tiananmen Square square,” he said.

He also referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin as “a man who, frankly, I think is a war criminal”.

“And I think we’re going to meet that legal definition as well,” he said.

Biden said he would like to see the destruction caused by the conflict “first hand”.

“They will not allow me, it is understandable I think, to cross the border,” he said.

Speaking to the military, he said: “You are in the middle of a fight between democracy and autocrats. What you are doing is revolting, really revolting.”

Later on Saturday, he will meet with Polish leaders, visit a refugee reception center and give a keynote speech on the conflict.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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