Administration

Harris to meet with Ukraine’s Zelensky in Munich

AP, Carolyn Kaster/ Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, via AP

Vice President Harris is slated to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky when she travels to the Munich Security Conference later this week, according to senior administration officials.

The meeting is one of several that Harris is expected to have with leaders at the global security conference. It will come at a pivotal time, as the Biden administration tries to prevent a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Zelensky spoke with President Biden earlier this week.

Harris will arrive at the conference in Munich on Friday and is slated to meet with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and the leaders of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, a senior administration official said.

Her meeting with Zelensky will take place on Saturday, according to a second administration official. She is also expected to meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who was recently in Washington to meet with Biden at the White House.

Harris will deliver a speech at the conference addressing Russian threats to Ukraine, the official said. The vice president is expected to use the remarks to argue that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would weaken Russia and to lay out the broader implications of the crisis for European and international order, the official said.

She is also expected to talk about the unity of the U.S. and European partners in responding to Russian aggression and to reassure allies of U.S. commitment to NATO.

In addition to her meetings with foreign leaders on Friday, Harris plans to meet with bipartisan congressional delegations to the security conference, the first official said.

The security conference is taking place as Biden administration officials warn that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could happen at any moment.

Foreign policy experts said that the White House’s decision to send Harris to Munich was a signal of the seriousness with which the administration is approaching the situation.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is also scheduled to travel to Munich for the conference.

Asked whether Harris’s plans to attend the conference could change if Russia invades Ukraine, the first senior administration official described the situation as “fluid” but said Harris was determined to consult with allies in Munich. 

Tags Antony Blinken Joe Biden Russia-Ukraine conflict Vice President Harris

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