May 26, 2022

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Biden to travel to Brussels for NATO summit amid Russia’s war on Ukraine


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President Biden is expected to travel to Brussels, Belgium, next week for a NATO summit on Russia’s war in Ukraine, the White House said Tuesday. 

Biden will join the “extraordinary” NATO summit that will convene March 24. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the president will “discuss the ongoing deterrence and defense efforts in response to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine as well as to reaffirm our ironclad commitment to our NATO allies.” 

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Biden is also set to join a scheduled European Council Summit to discuss “shared concerns about Ukraine, including transatlantic efforts to impose economic costs on Russia, provide humanitarian support to those effected by the violence, and to address other challenges related to the conflict.” 

Psaki said Biden’s “goal” is “to meet in person, face to face, with his European counterparts and talk about and assess where we are at this point in the conflict.” 

“The president is a big believer in face to face diplomacy,” Psaki said, adding that the summit is “an opportunity to do exactly that.” 

As for whether Biden will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during his trip to Europe, Psaki said the White House is “still finalizing the trip at this point in time.”

“The real focus right now is to meet with NATO partners in Brussels,” Psaki said. “If there are additional steps, we’ll share all those details with all of you.” 

President Biden speaks March 8, 2022, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington.

President Biden speaks March 8, 2022, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The president’s plans to travel to Europe come as Russia’s war against Ukraine rages on. 

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Vice President Kamala Harris, who returned to the U.S. over the weekend, traveled to Europe last week to represent the United States in bilateral meetings with European leaders.

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a joint press conference with Poland's President Andrzej Duda on the occasion of their meeting at Belwelder Palace, in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, March 10, 2022.

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a joint press conference with Poland’s President Andrzej Duda on the occasion of their meeting at Belwelder Palace, in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, March 10, 2022.
(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Harris traveled to Warsaw, Poland, where she met with Polish President Andrzej Duda and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morwawiecki. While in Warsaw, she also met with Canadian President Justin Trudeau.

Harris also traveled to Bucharest, Romania, for a bilateral meeting with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

Harris’ visit came after the U.S. sent additional U.S. troops to the countries and neighboring countries to strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defense as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine.

A man looks at a burned apartment building that was damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, Sunday, March 13, 2022. 

A man looks at a burned apartment building that was damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, Sunday, March 13, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Biden’s visit to Europe also comes after his White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan traveled to Rome, Italy, Monday to meet with his Chinese counterpart.

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The meeting, while pre-scheduled, came after U.S. intelligence officials said Russia had asked China for military aid and economic assistance following its invasion of Ukraine. In an attempt to protect intelligence sources, U.S. officials have been reluctant to detail what type of aid is being sought.

“We do have deep concerns about China’s alignment with Russia at this time, and the national security adviser was direct about those concerns and the potential implications and consequences of certain actions,” the official said, without commenting directly to the reports that Russia had requested aid from China after invading Ukraine.



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