White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced Tuesday that President Joe Biden will travel to Europe next week for face-to-face talks with European leaders about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. President Biden will meet with European leaders at an extraordinary NATO summit in Brussels on March 24th. He will also attend a scheduled European Council summit, where efforts to impose sanctions and further humanitarian efforts are underway.
The White House shared the news of the President’s trip shortly before he signed a bill providing $13.6 billion in additional military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine as part of a $1.5 trillion government spending measure. The news of the President’s visit to Brussels came on the same day that leaders of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia set out for Kyiv by train despite the security risks to show their support for Ukraine. It was a visit EU officials said was not sanctioned by other members of the 27-nation bloc.
The President’s trip also follows Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Eastern European NATO allies Poland and Romania last week to discuss with leaders the growing refugee crisis in eastern Europe sparked by the Russian invasion and to underscore the Biden administration’s support for NATO allies.
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) March 15, 2022
“While he’s there, his goal is to meet in person face-to-face with his European counterparts and talk about, assess where we are at this point in the conflict in the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. We’ve been incredibly aligned to date,” Psaki said. “That doesn’t happen by accident. The president is a big believer in face-to-face diplomacy. So it’s an opportunity to do exactly that.”
These decisions are ultimately up to companies. As President Biden said earlier this week, we welcome the decisions of companies to exit Russia because they want no part of Russia’s war of choice against Ukraine.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) March 11, 2022
Poland’s foreign minister Zbigniew Rau said on Tuesday that a visit by President Biden to Poland was “very probable” when he comes to Europe. More than 1.8 million Ukrainians have fled to Poland since the start of the war, according to the United Nations. More than 3 million people have fled Ukraine since Putin launched his invasion.
We will make sure Ukraine has weapons to defend against the invading Russian force.
We will send money and food and aid to save Ukrainian lives.
We will welcome Ukrainian refugees with open arms.
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 14, 2022