US President Joe Biden wants to travel to Europe in view of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. The White House announced on Sunday night (local time) that Biden would initially attend the NATO, EU and G7 summits in Brussels this Thursday as scheduled.
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The US president will travel to the Polish capital of Warsaw on Friday as part of his political agenda. A bilateral meeting with the Polish president, Andrzej Duda, is scheduled there for Saturday. It should be about the humanitarian crisis “triggered by Russia’s unjustified and groundless war against Ukraine.”
The White House also announced that Biden would be discussing this Monday in a video conference with Foreign Minister Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The topic of the 16:00 CET change is the coordinated response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Biden’s departure for Brussels is scheduled for Wednesday.
“The trip will focus on continuing to mobilize the world in support of the Ukrainian people and against President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” Psaki said. “But there are no plans to travel to Ukraine,” she added.
Participation in three summits in Brussels
The heads of state and government of the main democratic economic powers will meet in Brussels on Thursday for a G7 summit.
The summit is embedded in two other summits in Brussels on the same day: NATO heads of state and government will meet first. An EU summit will take place in the afternoon.
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Biden will attend all three summits. The meetings will focus on supporting Ukraine and imposing “high and unprecedented costs” on Russia for the invasion, the White House wrote. It is Biden’s third trip to Europe since he took office in January 2021.
Final journey on NATO’s eastern flank
According to the UN, more than two million refugees from the neighboring country have arrived in Poland, a NATO partner country, since the start of the war in Ukraine. There is currently no official information on how many of the war refugees stayed in Poland and how many have already traveled to other EU countries.
Ukraine, Europe’s largest country by area, had a population of more than 44 million before the Russian attack began. Poland and Ukraine are connected by a national border that is more than 500 kilometers long.
In early March, US Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Poland. At the time, President Duda had asked the US government to accept refugees from the country for the duration of the war in Ukraine. During her visit to Poland, Harris also met with refugees and later traveled to Romania.
More recently, a proposal from Poland caused irritation in the US government. Warsaw wanted to deliver MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine through a US base in Germany. The United States refused.
Such a move could lead to a direct confrontation between NATO forces and the Russian military, potentially leading to an escalation of the war, according to the reasoning.
At the same time, Biden repeatedly emphasizes that he will defend every inch of NATO territory. Poland borders Ukraine and the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. (dpa, afp)