Biden heads to Poland for meetings on Ukraine refugee crisis – US politics live

Biden heads to Poland for meetings on Ukraine refugee crisis – US politics live

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Air Force One has landed at Poland’s Rzeszów-Jasionka Airport, which is in the southeast part of the country, roughly an hour drive from the border with Ukraine.

Biden was supposed to meet first with Andrzej Duda, but the Polish president’s plane has been delayed. Polish media is reporting that the plane was forced to return due to a technical issue.


A Polish Government 737, en route to Rzeszów, has returned to Warsaw. According to media the Polish president Andrzej Duda was onboard the aircraft that returned because of a technical problem.

March 25, 2022

Now Biden will meet first US service-members of the 82nd Airborne Division, and then receive a briefing by humanitarian groups.

According to background provided by the White House, members of the Task Force 82 have completed “combined training, civic, and cultural engagements” since their arrival in Poland last month. That includes “combined arms training” with Polish and British allies as well as civic and cultural visits to local orphanages, youth groups, military memorials and the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp site.


Sullivan answered questions from reporters a number of topics.

Concern that Russia may use chemical weapons was an “important topic of conversation” during Biden’s visit to Europe. Biden vowed to respond “in kind” if Russia uses chemical weapons in Ukraine.

Pressed on what that means, as chemical weapons are illegal under international law and Biden has repeatedly said the US would not send troops to fight Russia in Ukraine, Sullivan said it was an issue being discussed and prepared for both militarily and diplomatically as well as among allied leaders.

“We are working through contingency planning for a range of different scenarios,” he said. “It is difficult to give precision to these kinds of hypotheticals because of course, the form of use, the location of use, the context of use, all have a bearing on the specificity of the response. But in broad terms, I believe that there is convergence around the fundamental nature of how the alliance would respond to these issues.”

He also told reporters that the US does not believe China has granted Russia’s request for military aid.

“We have not seen the Chinese move forward with the provision of military equipment to Russia, but it’s something we continue to watch every day,” he said.

Asked whether the president expected to discuss a Polish proposal to send international peacekeepers into Ukraine, Sullivan said he wasn’t sure if the Polish president would raise that with Biden during their meeting and said the US needed more information before it responded.

He also said there is “no update” on Ukraine’s request for more warplanes, after the US rejected a proposal from Poland to transfer Russian-made MiG fighter planes from a US base in Germany to Ukraine out of concern that it might escalate the conflict with Russia.

Asked about how Biden views his trip to Europe, Sullivan emphasized a point Biden stressed in his remarks on Thursday: that unity will take work over time.

“Part of the reason that he decided that we needed to do this is because the early weeks unity can be carried forward by momentum and inertia and adrenaline,” Sullivan said. “But this could go on for some time, and to sustain that unity as costs rise, as the tragedy unfolds, that’s hard work. And the president wanted to get everybody together to say, ‘we’ve got to do that work.’ …It takes an American president coming over to really try to drive this forward.”



Biden will deliver a ‘major address’ from Poland on Saturday

On the flight to Poland from Belgium, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan previewed Biden’s visit to Poland.

Sullivan said Biden would meet with Ukrainian refugees and American humanitarian groups in Warsaw before delivered a “significant speech” on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“He will give a major address tomorrow that will speak to the stakes of this moment, of the urgency of the challenge that lies ahead, what the conflict in Ukraine means for the world, and why it is so important that the free world to stay in unity and resolve in the face of Russian aggression,” Sullivan said. “He’ll also talk about the context and history of this conflict and where he sees it going from here.”


Biden heads to Poland to meet president

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of US politics.

Joe Biden is en route to Rzeszow, Poland, a city some 60 miles from the Ukrainian border, where he will be greeted by the country’s president, Andrzej Duda. There he will receive a briefing on humanitarian response to ease suffering of civilians inside Ukraine and meets service members from 82nd Airborne Division before traveling to Warsaw.

Biden’s visit comes as the battle for the Ukrainian capital Kyiv grinds on, more than a month after Russia began its brutal assault. For more on the war in Ukraine, follow our global liveblog here.

Earlier on Friday, Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen hailed a new partnership that they said would reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian energy.

The US said it would increase exports of liquefied natural gas exports to Europe by at least 15 billion cubic meters without hindering efforts to meet the White House’s climate goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050.

“We’re going to have to make sure the families in Europe can get through this winter and the next while we’re building the infrastructure for a diversified, resilient and clean energy future,” Biden said in Brussels.

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