News Politics & International Slovakia

US First Lady to meet Ukrainian refugees in Slovakia and Romania

Jill_Biden_visits_Argentina,_June_2016_

Bratislava, Slovakia – Jill Biden will travel to Romania and Slovakia later this week to meet with Ukrainian refugees displaced by Russia’s invasion, her office said on Monday.

The First Lady of the United States will visit Romania’s Kogalniceanu Airbase on Friday to meet with US service members stationed in the NATO country. A former community college professor, Biden will then head to the capital Bucharest, where she’s due to meet with US representatives, as well as teachers and volunteers working with Ukrainian children.

She will then travel to eastern Slovakia and meet with Ukrainian refugees, humanitarian volunteers and NGO workers in Košice and Vyšné Nemecké.

“On Mother’s Day, she will meet with Ukrainian mothers and children who have been forced to flee their home country because of Putin’s war,” according to a statement released by her office.

The First Lady’s Central European trip will also include a stop in Slovakia’s capital Bratislava.

Out of the more than 5.5 million refugees who have fled Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion, more than 800,000 and 370,000 have found haven in Romania and Slovakia respectively, according to UN data.

Her trip follows the recent visit of several top US government officials in Ukraine, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin.

This will be Biden’s second solo trip abroad as First Lady, according to CNN, after attending the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics last July.

Although he visited Poland at the end of March in a show of support for Kyiv and European allies, US President Joe Biden isn’t expected to travel to Ukraine for the time being, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said last month.