Biden will travel to Poland to mark one-year anniversary of Russian invasion of Ukraine: ‘Sending a message’

President Joe Biden will travel to Poland to mark the one-year anniversary of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as a sign of solidarity, the White House said.

The US president will meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda to discuss cooperation on support for Ukraine and NATO. The president will also deliver remarks ahead of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion, according to a statement from White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

“He wants to talk about the importance of the international community’s resolve and unity in supporting Ukraine for now going on a year,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

“Wouldn’t it be great if the President didn’t have to make a trip around a one year anniversary of a war that never should have started?” Mr Kirby said. “Sadly, that’s where we are and he wants to make sure they send him that strong message, not only in the United States’s resolve, the international community’s resolve and to make clear to the Ukrainian people, most particularly that the United States is going to continue to stand by them going forward.”

Mr Kirby added that he understood that the coming months would be difficult. In response to a question about whether Mr Biden would travel to Ukraine during his visit to the region, Mr Kirby said the president had no plans to travel anywhere else at the moment.

Mr Biden will also meet with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. One reporter referenced how Mr Silva wanted create a group of countries including Egypt and China to mediate a peace between Russia and Ukraine. But Mr Kirby deferred to the Brazilian president.

“I think, in the aggregate. We all would like to see this war end today,” he said, but he added that the decision would be up to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“That doesn’t appear to be in the offing as Mr Putin, just over the last 24 hours, flew dozens more cruise missiles into civilian targets into Ukraine knocking out heat and power across the country,” he said. “So absent that, we’re going to have to stay at the task of supporting Ukraine so that they can succeed at the battlefield. So that if and when President Zelensky has determined it’s time to negotiate, and sit down at the table to solve this diplomatically, he can do it with the wind at his back.”

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