Kamala Headed To Eastern Europe On Diplomacy Mission
The White House is set to send Vice President Kamala Harris to Eastern Europe to meet with U.S. troops and show support for Ukraine as Russia continues its invasion.
Harris will travel to Warsaw, Poland, and Bucharest, Romania, to meet with American troops stationed in the country and visit its border with Ukraine, the site of a humanitarian emergency as tens of thousands of refugees attempt to flee the country.
Harris recently returned from Germany, where she met with European leaders during the Munich Security Conference against a backdrop of dire warnings over Ukraine’s fate. Within days of her return, Russia had launched its invasion.
Her next trip could come within weeks, a source familiar with the discussions told The Hill. President Joe Biden is not expected to travel, the source said. CNN confirmed Friday that Harris would likely visit Poland soon.
The vice president’s office declined to comment on a possible trip. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
Harris spoke Tuesday with the leaders of Poland, Romania, and other European allies to pledge support for Ukraine and its neighbors as they deal with the flow of refugees and humanitarian needs resulting from the crisis.
One million people have fled Ukraine as fighting in the country escalates.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia was waging “nuclear terror” early Friday as its forces shelled the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Enerhodar, Ukraine.
The attack on Europe’s largest nuclear power plant shook NATO allies as they feared a nuclear catastrophe that could spill into neighboring states. The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv has accused Moscow of committing “a war crime” with the attack.
Members of the trans-Atlantic alliance have tried to support Ukraine while stopping short of direct involvement to avoid escalating the conflict.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken left Thursday on a trip to Belgium, Poland, Moldova, and the Baltic states to reaffirm U.S. support.
On Friday, Biden spoke with Polish President Andrzej Duda about the crisis, the latest in a slew of recent engagements with foreign leaders over the invasion.
Biden and Duda talked earlier this week in a call with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, French President Emmanuel Macron, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and other trans-Atlantic leaders.
Von der Leyen met with Iohannis in Bucharest this week to affirm support for the country.
“[W]e are preparing in case of retaliation,” von der Leyen said, adding that the two had discussed Europe’s reliance on Russian energy.
Original Article: White House to dispatch Kamala Harris to Eastern Europe amid Ukraine war