President Andrzej Duda, who is allied with a right-wing political party accused of eroding democratic norms, and who clearly preferred former U.S. President Donald Trump to Biden, was set to welcome his American counterpart upon Air Force One’s arrival in Rzeszow, a city some 70 kilometers (45 miles) from the border with Ukraine.

President Joe Biden’s visit to Poland on Friday gave him a chance to underscore the U.S. commitment to protect a key NATO member on Ukraine’s doorstep and to thank Poles for their generous welcome to refugees fleeing Russia’s invasion, AP reports.

But Poland is also a complicated ally whose populist leaders are accused by some European partners of riding roughshod over democratic norms, and liberal Poles will be seeking a sign that the U.S. remembers its role in promoting democracy.

Biden’s two-day visit follows a trio of emergency summits in Brussels and brought him to the country that has accepted the lion’s share of the more than 3.5 million people who have fled Ukraine. More than 2.2 million refugees have entered Poland since the start of the month-old war, and many propose to stay there.

Polish assistance to Ukrainians has won praise near and far. Not only have shelters and schools opened their doors to refugees, with 90,000 children registering to attend classes, but many regular Poles have welcomed Ukrainians into their homes. In some cases, they’re taking in friends and in others, complete strangers.But Duda arrived late due to a technical problem with his own plane, which had to make an emergency landing in Warsaw. The delay forced Biden to change his schedule and to meet before a briefing on the humanitarian crisis facing Ukrainians with American soldiers who are serving alongside Polish troops on NATO’s eastern flank.

He lavished praise on the members of the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and told them they were in the midst of a fight between democracy and autocracy.

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