White House discussing sending Harris to Warsaw, Bucharest
The White House is actively discussing sending Vice President Harris to Warsaw, Poland, and Bucharest, Romania, in the coming days to show solidarity with Ukraine as it faces an escalating Russian invasion, sources familiar with the conversations tell The Hill.
The discussions involve sending Harris to visit troops stationed in Romania and potentially to the border with Ukraine, where a refugee crisis has seen more than 1 million people flee that country since the Russian attack.
The trip could happen in the coming weeks, one source said, adding that there is no active dialogue about sending President Biden to the region.
“A presidential visit is a heavier logistical lift,” the source said. “The vice president has a smaller footprint and is historically more nimble.”
The vice president’s office declined to comment on Harris’s travel plans. But a White House official said Harris has been “deeply involved in the administration’s engagement with allies and partners.”
Harris — who recently returned from the Munich Security Conference — spoke this week to Poland’s prime minister and Romania’s prime minister as well as other leaders from European allies to discuss the response to Russia’s invasion. An official said those talks were meant “to underscore the strength and unity of our alliance.
“You can expect the vice president will continue to engage with allies and partners on these issues,” the official said.
Harris’s potential trip to the region would reaffirm U.S. support.
The U.S. has sent nearly 3,000 additional troops to Poland and Romania in recent days as the invasion has expanded in Ukraine.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken leaves Thursday for a six-day trip to Belgium, Poland, Moldova and the Baltic states to offer reassurances and help coordinate the ongoing international response to the attacks.
The U.S. and other members of NATO have heavily sanctioned Russia amid the attacks and have consistently supported Ukraine, but they have reiterated that they won’t take direct military action.
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