ua en ru

Message to Putin and Ukraine's only request: Biden's address to Congress

Message to Putin and Ukraine's only request: Biden's address to Congress Joe Biden, President of the United States of America (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

President Joe Biden addressed Congress on Friday, March 8, with a State of the Union speech. He began his address by focusing on Ukraine, emphasizing the need to provide the country with necessary military assistance so that Ukrainians can halt the aggression of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

"Hitler was on the march. War was raging in Europe. President Roosevelt’s (Franklin Roosevelt, President of the United States from 1933 to 1945) purpose was to wake up the Congress and alert the American people that this was no ordinary moment. Freedom and democracy were under assault in the world," Biden said at the outset.

As the American leader pointed out, today he came to the same chamber to address the nation.

"My purpose tonight is to both wake up this Congress, and alert the American people that this is no ordinary moment either. Not since President Lincoln (Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States from 1861 to 1865) and the Civil War have freedom and democracy been under assault here at home as they are today. What makes our moment rare is that freedom and democracy are under attack, both at home and overseas, at the very same time," emphasized Biden.

'Ukraine can stop Putin if we stand with Ukraine and provide the weapons it needs'

The President of the United States emphasized that Putin is advancing abroad, "invading Ukraine and sowing chaos throughout Europe and beyond."

"If anybody in this room thinks Putin will stop at Ukraine, I assure you, he will not. But Ukraine can stop Putin if we stand with Ukraine and provide the weapons it needs to defend itself. That is all Ukraine is asking. They are not asking for American soldiers. In fact, there are no American soldiers at war in Ukraine. And I am determined to keep it that way. But now assistance for Ukraine is being blocked by those who want us to walk away from our leadership in the world," Biden reminded.

Additionally, he emphasized the importance of the NATO military-political alliance and reminded that the United States was among its founders.

"Today, we’ve made NATO stronger than ever. We welcomed Finland to the Alliance last year, and just this morning, Sweden officially joined NATO," said Biden, greeting the Prime Minister of Sweden, who was present in the Congress chamber during this speech.

Call for adoption of a package of support for Ukraine and message to Putin

In his speech, he recalled how Republican President Ronald Reagan (President of the United States from 1981 to 1989) called on then-Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall as a symbol of the Soviet leadership's desire for change.

"Now, my predecessor, a former Republican President, tells Putin, 'Do whatever the hell you want.' A former American President actually said that, bowing down to a Russian leader. It’s outrageous. It’s dangerous. It’s unacceptable... I say this to Congress: we must stand up to Putin. Send me the Bipartisan National Security Bill. History is watching. If the United States walks away now, it will put Ukraine at risk. Europe at risk. The free world at risk, emboldening others who wish to do us harm. My message to President Putin is simple. We will not walk away. We will not bow down. I will not bow down," Biden declared.

'History is watching'

Repeatedly in his speech, he kept saying "history is watching." This included when he mentioned the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters on January 6, 2021. He emphasized that "political violence has absolutely no place in America! History is watching." Biden blamed former President Trump for attempting to bury the truth about that day.

"We must be honest the threat remains and democracy must be defended. My predecessor and some of you here seek to bury the truth of January 6th. I will not do that... You can’t love your country only when you win. As I’ve done ever since being elected to office, I ask you all, without regard to party, to join together and defend our democracy! Remember your oath of office to defend against all threats foreign and domestic. Respect free and fair elections! Restore trust in our institutions! And make clear –political violence has absolutely no place in America! History is watching," added the president.