‘Biden is really pulling allies together’: international security analyst

TVP World’s guest Paweł Markiewicz, PhD, an international security analyst from the Polish Institute of International Affairs, discussed the Biden administration’s approach to the war in Ukraine, the upcoming NATO summit in June, and the shift in the Alliance’s strategy.

Asked about the significance of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Kyiv, TVP World’s guest Paweł Markiewicz noted that all the recent visits of US top politicians showed how invested in Ukraine was President Biden’s administration. “Secretary Blinken and Secretary Austin came out firmly saying they want to see Ukraine win. The visit of House Speaker Pelosi underscores that as well,” he said.

With regards to the help provided to Ukraine by the US, Markiewicz said that the Biden administration was taking a “Reaganesque policy of outspending Russia in this conflict.” At the same time, the effectiveness of this aid still remains to be seen, he stressed, noting that the Ukrainian soldiers still had to adapt to the US technology and military equipment in the field.

As for the US president's approach to the Russia-Ukraine war, Markiewicz emphasised that Biden was relying heavily on the collective strength of his allies. “Even when he was running for president, Biden said that the United States is only as strong as its allies are. We’re seeing that he’s really pulling these allies together to face [the conflict of] the world of democracy versus the world of authoritarianism – this is the clash at the moment,” said Markiewicz. The analyst also stressed that as the most important member of NATO the United States has emphasised on numerous occasions its “iron-clad commitment” to Article Five, which is the mutual defence clause.

Asked about the US reluctance to oppose the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, Markiewicz pointed out that Biden as Vice President during Obama’s era was most likely less vocal publicly due to his less influential position. The analyst also said that the US at the time offered to send its troops to eastern Europe to serve as a “tripwire” preventing Russia from entering these territories. Markiewicz stated that of course more could have been done at the time, but he stressed that the upcoming NATO summit held in Madrid in June would show a big strategic shift for the Alliance. “I would expect to see some concrete decision coming out of this, given the severity of the situation at this point,” he said. Markiewicz noted that one of the key things that will come out of the summit should be a permanent presence of NATO troops in the Eastern flank and the increase in the number of soldiers stationed there.