According to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, President Joe Biden will go to Europe next week for facial expression talks with European leaders over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
On March 24, Biden will meet alongside European leaders in Brussels for an extraordinary NATO meeting. He will also attend a scheduled European Council conference, where sanctions and additional humanitarian initiatives will be discussed.
“While he’s there, his purpose is to meet in person with his European counterparts and discuss and assess where we are in dispute over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.” “To date, we’ve been tremendously aligned,” Psaki remarked. “That isn’t something that happens by chance.” Face-to-face diplomacy is essential to the president. So here’s your chance to do just that.”
According to the White House, Biden signed a bill delivering $13.6 billion in the other military and humanitarian help to Ukraine as part of a $1.5 trillion government budget legislation.
The US is “working urgently further to enhance the support to the brave people of Ukraine, as they protect their homeland,” Biden said during the bill signing ceremony.
The travel follows Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit last week to NATO’s eastern flank members of Poland and Romania to discuss the rising refugee problem in the east of Europe triggered by Russia’s incursion and reaffirm the Biden administration’s commitment to NATO partners.
Biden’s visit to Poland, according to Poland’s foreign minister Zbigniew Rau, is “quite likely” when he visits Europe. According to the United Nations, more than 1.8 million Ukrainians have fled to Poland since the war began. Since Russia’s invasion, more than 3 million people have fled Ukraine.
“It’s hard to imagine a better place for the US and the entire alliance to underline their stance than Poland, which is the brightest connection on the eastern flank,” Rau told Polish state television TVP INFO.
Psaki said she didn’t know whether Biden would stop in Poland during his trip.
The White House announced Biden’s trip to Brussels on the same day as the leaders of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia traveled to Kyiv by train over security concerns to show their support for Ukraine. According to EU authorities, other members of the 27-nation bloc did not sanction the visit.
Biden’s travel to Europe comes as the White House seeks to sustain what has been a mostly united western opposition to Russia since the invasion, according to Daniel Hamilton, a former deputy assistant secretary of state for European affairs.
“As the conflict continues, the president must demonstrate that he is part of the coalition, gathering with European colleagues in Europe furthermore that the United States is a European power,” said Hamilton, a non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.