Speaking in Warsaw, US President Joe Biden said Russia “strangled democracy” in its invasion of Ukraine and called out Russian President Vladimir Putin’s lies to justify the war.
“Over the past 30 years, the forces of autocracy have been revived around the world. Its hallmarks are well known: contempt for the rule of law, contempt for democratic freedom, contempt for the truth itself,” Biden said.
“Today, Russia has strangled democracy and has tried to do it elsewhere, not just in his homeland. Under false claims of ethnic solidarity, he has invalidated neighboring countries. Putin has the audacity to say he is ‘denazising Ukraine’. It’s a lie. It’s just cynical. He knows that. And it’s also obscene. President Zelensky was democratically elected. He’s Jewish. His father’s family was wiped out in the Nazi holocaust. And Putin has the guts, just like all our autocrats before him to believe that maybe that will make up for it,” he said.
Biden then referred to US President Abraham Lincoln, who said that “justice makes power”.
Biden also addressed the Russian president’s criticism of NATO.
“A criminal wants to portray NATO expansion as an imperialist project aimed at destabilizing Russia. Nothing could be further from the truth. NATO is a defensive alliance. It has never sought the demise of Russia,” Biden said.
Putin has made the choice to go to war, Biden said.
“It is nothing short of a direct challenge to the rules-based international order established since the end of World War II, and threatens to return to decades of war that devastated Europe before the international rules-based order was introduced. We can’t go back on that. We can’t,” he said.
He then outlined steps to thwart Russia, including sanctions and other economic actions.