May 22, 2024

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Biden praises that country for its support of Ukraine, but uses a name that dates back more than 30 years

Biden praises that country for its support of Ukraine, but uses a name that dates back more than 30 years

Policy

WASHINGTON — President Biden on Monday praised Czechoslovakia for its support of Ukraine against the two-year-old Russian invasion — a reference to a country that has not existed since the end of 1992.

Biden, 81, was hosting Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala in the Oval Office and quickly corrected himself to say “Czech Republic” — another error, as Prague has required the country to be called “Czech” since its recent founding on New Year's Day. 1993 and made it the official name in 2016.

“I cannot tell you how much we appreciate your candor and support of the people of Czechoslovakia – the Czech Republic, in standing up for the people of Ukraine,” Biden said.

President Joe Biden (81 years old) was hosting Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala in the Oval Office. AP
Biden and Czech Republic Prime Minister Petr Fiala speak to reporters before a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office of the White House on April 15, 2024. Getty Images

The secession of Czechoslovakia and Slovakia ended 75 years of Czechoslovakia, a period that included six years of Nazi occupation during World War II, and witnessed more than four decades of communist rule as a satellite state of the Soviet Union.

At the time of the dissolution, French President François Mitterrand and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl — with whom Biden claimed in February had recently spoken — committed three gaffes that amplified questions about his mental acuity.

Mitterrand left his position in 1995 and died a year later. Cole remained an adviser until 1998 and died in 2017, making it impossible for Biden to talk to them about the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, he recalled.

Biden's other recent stumbles include telling an audience in the Rose Garden last week that voters should choose him for a second four-year term because he lives in the “twentieth century.”

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Such missteps come as polls regularly show widespread bipartisan concern among voters about the octogenarian's mental fitness for a second four-year term.

The secession of Czechoslovakia and Slovakia ended 75 years of Czechoslovak statehood, a period that included six years of Nazi occupation during World War II. AFP via Getty Images
Biden praised Czech Prime Minister Peter Fiala and his country for defending the people of Ukraine. AP

Get the latest Updates Into the conflict between Russia and Ukraine with The Post's live coverage.


A New York Times poll published last month showed this 73% of registered voters They think Biden is too old to be president — while only 42% said that about former President Donald Trump, 77, who is seeking a rematch against Biden in November.

Biden is already the oldest US president ever, and will be 86 years old if he completes his second full term in 2029.


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