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US President Biden to travel to Poland this week

President_Biden_at_Camp_David_February_12_2022

Warsaw, Poland – US President Joe Biden will visit Poland on Friday, March 25, according to a White House statement released on Sunday.

Travelling to Warsaw after meeting in Brussels with NATO, G7 and EU allies, Biden will hold talks with Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda to “discuss how the United States, alongside our Allies and partners, is responding to the humanitarian and human rights crisis that Russia’s unjustified and unprovoked war on Ukraine has created.”

“The trip will be focused on continuing to rally the world in support of the Ukrainian people and against President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted.

The US President is not scheduled to visit Ukraine itself, she said.

Sharing over 500 km of border with Ukraine and a key pillar of NATO’s eastern flank defence, Poland has found itself on the frontline of what has been described as the “fastest growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II” by the United Nations.

More than two million people have crossed from Ukraine into Poland since February 24 and the start of Russia’s invasion, putting an enormous strain on Polish cities, volunteers, and local authorities to accommodate and take care of Ukrainian war refugees.

Earlier this month, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski – along with the Czech and Slovenian PMs – made a short and daring visit to besieged Kyiv to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky and reassert Europe’s “unequivocal support” to Ukraine.

During his upcoming trip, President Biden is expected to discuss the Polish plan of sending a peacekeeping mission in Ukraine, including to help with the evacuation of civilians.

“I can’t preview what decisions will be made at this NATO conference and how NATO will respond to the Polish proposal”, commented Washington’s envoy to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

“What I can say is American troops will not be on the ground in Ukraine at this moment,” she added.