President Biden will personally attend a meeting of NATO heads of state next week to discuss the military alliance’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – after dispatching Vice President Kamala Harris during of two previous missions to Europe to manage the crisis.
Biden will attend the March 24 summit in Brussels, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday.
The leaders “will discuss ongoing deterrence and defense efforts in response to Russia’s unprovoked and unwarranted attack on Ukraine” and “reaffirm our unwavering commitment to our NATO allies”, said PSAKI during his regular briefing.
Biden will also attend a European Council summit to discuss “efforts to impose economic costs on Russia, provide humanitarian support to those affected by the violence, and address other conflict-related challenges,” he said. she declared.
The press secretary declined to say whether Biden was likely to visit NATO member countries along the Ukrainian border – or if he would meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia traveled to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, on Tuesday to show their support for Zelensky as Russian troops close in on the country’s main urban areas.
get latest updates in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict with the Post’s live coverage.
This will be Biden’s third trip abroad as president. His first trip abroad in June last year featured a NATO summit in Brussels followed by a summit in Geneva with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Biden had previously sent Harris to deal with the crisis – first to meet with American allies at the Munich security conference in Germany in February to rally deterrence to Putin (who invaded Ukraine days later ), then to Poland and Romania, where Harris was left awkwardly defending Biden’s decision to reject Warsaw’s offer to donate fighter jets to the United States for the purpose of getting them to Ukraine.
“I want to be very clear: the United States and Poland are united in what we have done and are ready to do to help Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, period,” Harris told a press briefing. press Thursday with Polish President Andrzej Duda. .
However, the Biden administration’s position is at odds with Poland’s actions. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States would give Poland a ‘green light’ for the transfer days before the president himself backed away from the idea, later saying the transfer could trigger The Third world war.
Biden faces bipartisan political pressure from Congress to reconsider the fighter jet idea.
In addition to the president’s trip, the White House is reportedly considering sending first lady Jill Biden to Eastern Europe, possibly Poland, to investigate the status of refugees fleeing Ukraine.
New York Post