Vice President Kamala Harris confirmed that the United States will protect its NATO allies amid Russia’s unprovoked war with Ukraine.
What she said: “This is a moment that requires severe and swift consequences for Russian aggression against Ukraine,” Harris said during a news conference with Poland President Andrzej Duda, per USA Today. “What is at stake, this very moment, are some of the guiding principles around the NATO alliance.”
- “The U.S. commitment to Article 5 is ironclad,” Harris said, mentioning the mutual defense agreement for NATO allies.
- “The U.S. is prepared to defend every inch of NATO territory.”
Context: Harris’ comments come one day after the United States rejected Poland’s offer to give the the U.S. Russian-made fighter jets to help Ukraine, according to Reuters.
- Poland originally offered to transfer some transformed Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets to a U.S. base in Germany, which would then be used to help Ukraine’s air force against Russia.
- However, the U.S. rejected the plan Tuesday because the idea of Poland sending military planes to a U.S. base in Germany and then to Ukraine could be viewed as a NATO threat against Russia, according to CNN.
The bigger picture: Harris called for an investigation of Russia for committing war crimes, expressing outrage after a Russian missile strike bombed a maternity hospital in the city of Mariupol Wednesday.
What she said: “Absolutely there should be an investigation, and we should all be watching,” said Harris, per The Associated Press.