This is historical material “frozen in time”. The website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work.

Search form

The White House
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release

Remarks By Vice President Biden In a Joint Statement With Prime Minister Tusk

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Mr. President, thank you very much. You know, it's remarkable, I was thinking as I rode over to see you, that one of my last visits to Poland was to meet with your predecessors, and then to give a speech at Warsaw University, discussing -- as I was pushing very hard -- the admission of Poland into NATO. I had the great honor of leading that effort in the United States Senate, which ratifies those treaties. And to think how far we've come, how far Poland has come. You are already shouldering significant responsibility.

The reference that the Prime Minister made was I think we've moved from a relationship of only being the notion of that we would provide security, which we will, but also moving to the relationship where we work together, we work together and not for, but with one another.

And so, Mr. President, it's a great pleasure -- Mr. Prime Minister, it's a great pleasure to meet with you. To state the obvious -- and I don't think it needs restating, but its worth it anyway. To state the obvious, Poland -- Poland is one of our closest allies and critical partners in facing global challenges.

As you all -- already all know, Poland a long time ago captured the heart of the American people. But it also has the heart of our government, through Democratic and Republican administrations. The people in the United States and Poland have deep historic ties that sometimes are sort of mentioned as if they are not so consequential. They are incredibly consequential. They run deep. We share values, and ideals, and countless friendships over the years, and particularly now.

The United States, Mr. Prime Minister, deeply appreciates the service of the -- and sacrifice of your Polish soldiers, who are real warriors. I've been there, I've been in Afghanistan. I've seen them. They are genuine warriors, and they are making great sacrifices. And I know are proud of them, but we are thankful. We are thankful for your soldiers standing alongside of ours in Afghanistan, also in Iraq and the Balkans. And it's an honor -- it's an honor to stand with you in these difficult but vital deployments, Mr. Prime Minister.

Our two countries are bound together by an American commitment to Poland's security beyond the longstanding ties literally through Article 5 of the Washington treaty, NATO, and by Poland's commitment to our security, which you demonstrated I might add, through Article 5 on September the 11th. Without hesitation, you and NATO responded and said an attack on one is an attack on all. Under NATO's Article 5, an attack on one is an attack on all. And this strategic assurance is absolute, absolute, Mr. Prime Minister.

As one who championed the admission of Poland into NATO, I would also point out that we take not only our mutual commitments seriously, but I take it very, very seriously. President Obama and I consider this to be a solemn obligation. President Obama has said, and this is a promise he said not only for our time, but for all time. We appreciate Poland has stepped up and agreed to host an element of the previous missile defense plan.

And we now appreciate that Poland's government agrees with us that there is now a better way, a better way -- with new technology and new information -- to defend against the emerging ballistic missile threats. Our new phased adaptive approach to missile defense is designed to meet a growing threat not only to the United States, but first and foremost to Europe. It's going to meet it with proven technology that will cover more of Europe, including Poland, and will do it more efficiently than the previous system could have, or did. It strengthens missile defense for Europe, it strengthens Article 5, and it strengthens the alliance's deterrent  capability. Mr. Prime Minister, we have -- we have a lot to do. Simply put, our missile plan is better security for NATO, and is better security for Poland, and ultimately better security for the United States of America.