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Tipsheet

The Big Thing Missing From Biden's Ukraine Speech

Jacquelyn Martin, Pool

Earlier this week, President Joe Biden made a surprise trip to Ukraine and walked the streets of Kyiv with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The day after, he gave a lengthy speech in Warsaw, Poland, about the future of the country after Russia's invasion one year ago. 

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"I had the honor to stand with President Zelenskyy in Kyiv to declare that we will keep standing up for these same things no matter what," Biden said. "As Ukraine continues to defend itself against the Russian onslaught and launch counter-offensives of its own, there will continue to be hard and very bitter days, victories and tragedies. But Ukraine is steeled for the fight ahead. And the United States, together with our Allies and partners, are going to continue to have Ukraine's back as it defends itself." 

Previewing the remarks at the White House last week, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby reiterated Biden's position that the U.S. will stay in the fight "for as long as it takes." 

"President Biden will make it clear that the United States will continue to stand with Ukraine, as you've heard him say many times, for as long as it takes," Kirby said. 

But missing from Biden's speech was any mention of how he plans to keep the situation from spinning out of control and into a greater, more costly conflict for the United States. We're already seeing things unravel. 

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After Biden's remarks, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he was withdrawing from the New START Treaty, cutting off U.S. inspections of Russian intercontinental missile stockpiles. More on the treaty from the State Department

Treaty Structure: The Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, also known as the New START Treaty, enhances U.S. national security by placing verifiable limits on all Russian deployed intercontinental-range nuclear weapons. The United States and the Russian Federation have agreed to extend the treaty through February 4, 2026.

Strategic Offensive Limits: The New START Treaty entered into force on February 5, 2011.  Under the treaty, the United States and the Russian Federation had seven years to meet the treaty’s central limits on strategic offensive arms (by February 5, 2018) and are then obligated to maintain those limits for as long as the treaty remains in force.

Putin plans to host Chinese President Xi Jinping in the coming months after reports that Chinese companies could back Russian forces in Ukraine with weapons. 

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Zelenskyy is watching closely and warning China's involvement will lead to World War III. 

"If China allies itself with Russia, there will be a world war, and I do think that China is aware of that," Zelenskyy said during an interview this week. 

So, what is Biden's plan to take on these big issues in the interest of the U.S.? To prevent World War III? What does "for as long as it takes" actually mean? We haven't heard about it. 

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