Jill Biden to meet with Ukrainian refugees in Romania and Slovakia

WASHINGTON: First lady Jill Biden will visit Romania and Slovakia from May 5-9 to meet with US service members and embassy personnel, displaced Ukrainian parents and children, humanitarian aid workers, and teachers, her office said on Monday.

On Sunday, celebrated as Mother’s Day in the United States, Biden will meet with Ukrainian mothers and children who have been forced to flee their homes because of Russia’s war against Ukraine, her office said.

The wife of President Joe Biden will meet with US military service members at Mihail Kogalniceau Airbase in Romania on May 6, before heading to Bucharest to meet with Romanian government officials, US embassy staff, humanitarian aid workers, and teachers working with displaced Ukrainian children.

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The trip also includes stops in the Slovakian cities of Bratislava, Kosice and Vysne Nemecke, where Biden will meet with government officials, refugees and aid workers, her office said.

Biden’s visit is the latest show of support for Ukraine and neighbouring countries that are helping Ukrainian refugees by top US representatives.

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi met Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelenskiy on Sunday during an unannounced visit to Kyiv.

Jill Biden has also been closely engaged. In March she and her Polish counterpart, Agata Kornhauser-Duda, worked together to speed medical assistance to the frontlines of the refugee crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion.

Russia describes its actions as a “special military operation.”

The UN refugee agency last week said nearly 5.5 million people had fled Ukraine since the start of the war on Feb. 24 and the number could grow to 8.3 million this year.

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By April 27, more than 3 million Ukrainians had fled to Poland, with Romania taking in around 817,300 and Slovakia absorbing nearly 372,000, according to UN data.

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