Putin made ‘big mistake’ in suspending last nuclear arms treaty between the two countries, Joe Biden says

22 February 2023, 15:17 | Updated: 22 February 2023, 15:31

US President Joe Biden has said Vladimir Putin made a "big mistake" by announcing he would suspend Russia&squot;s participation in the last remaining nuclear arms treaty between the two countries.
US President Joe Biden has said Vladimir Putin made a "big mistake" by announcing he would suspend Russia's participation in the last remaining nuclear arms treaty between the two countries. Picture: Alamy / Getty

By Chris Samuel

US President Joe Biden has said Vladimir Putin made a "big mistake" by announcing he would suspend Russia's participation in the last remaining nuclear arms treaty between the two countries.

Mr Biden made the brief comment to reporters as he entered the Presidential Palace in Warsaw for a summit with leaders of leaders from nations on the eastern edge of the NATO alliance.

Later, at a gathering of the Bucharest Nine, the Mr Biden said he had "pushed the hardest" to expand the alliance to many of those meeting around the table today.

"One of the last conversations I had with our friend in Russia was, I said 'you keep asking for the Finlandisation of NATO – you're gonna get the NATOisation of Finland'.

"Not only are we strong – well, we're stronger."

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In his state of the union address on Tuesday, Putin accused Ukraine and the West of starting the war, and announced that he was pulling his country out of the major arms control agreement.

Speaking today, Mr Biden said those present "better than anyone" what's at stake in Ukraine, which was invaded by Russia almost a year ago.

Mr Biden said leaders around the table know "better than anyone" what&squot;s at stake in Ukraine, which was invaded by Russia almost a year ago.
Mr Biden said leaders around the table know "better than anyone" what's at stake in Ukraine, which was invaded by Russia almost a year ago. Picture: Alamy

"The leaders around this table have repeatedly stepped up to reaffirm" their support, he said.

He then reiterated that he will defend "every inch of NATO".

Mr Biden stressed that what is at stake "is not just Ukraine, it is freedom," he said.

"Things have changed radically, we have to make sure we change them back."

It comes after Biden gave a fiery keynote address in Warsaw one year on from the start of the invasion.

In his state of the union address, Putin accused Ukraine and the West of starting the war
In his state of the union address, Putin accused Ukraine and the West of starting the war. Picture: Getty

Mr Biden reminded crowds that "NATO is more united and unifed than ever before" however much Putin tries to divide the alliance.

He insisted that Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia, adding: "Kyiv stands strong, stands proud and stands tall. And most important, it stands free."

Mr Biden also dismissed Putin's claim made earlier at his state of the union address that Ukraine and the West started the war, saying: “The West is not plotting to attack Russia, as Putin said today."

He added that the millions of Russian citizens who desire only to live in peace with their neighbours "are not the enemy.”

Joe Biden delivers the speech at the Royal Castle Gardens in Warsaw, Poland on February 21, 2023.
Joe Biden delivers the speech at the Royal Castle Gardens in Warsaw, Poland on February 21, 2023. Picture: Getty

Mr Biden also revealed that allies will announce more sanctions this week to "seek justice for the crimes against humanity committed by Russia".

But he also warned that Ukraine must prepare for "bitter days" ahead.

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"We have to be honest and clear-eyed as we look at the year ahead," Mr Biden said outside the Royal Castle in Warsaw.

He vowed to "have Ukraine's back" as it faced the upcoming challenges against Russia and reminded Russia that NATO's commitment to Article 5 is "rock solid".

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