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Biden says Europe’s borders should not change ‘at gunpoint’

US Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday blasted Russia’s annexation of Crimea, saying borders should not be changed at gunpoint, as he began a visit to Romania days before a crucial vote in Ukraine.

“Europe’s borders should not be changed at the point of a gun,” he told Romanian and US troops at the Otopeni military airbase near Bucharest.

“We continue to condemn Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea. So as long as Russia’s efforts to destabilize Ukraine continue, we must remain resolute and impose greater costs on Russia.

“The aggression in Crimea, less than 250 miles from Romanian territory, from NATO’s borders, reminds us why we need NATO.”

Biden said the US’s commitment to act under article five was “a sacred obligation, not just for now but for all time.”

Article five of NATO’s Washington Treaty states that an attack on one member is an attack on all and requires a military response by all.

“I am here to say on behalf of the president: you can count on us,” he told Romanian soldiers and officials.

The vice president added that Romania was a “devoted NATO ally” and paid tribute to the 26 Romanian soldiers who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan and the 143 who were wounded.