On Friday, US Vice President Kamala Harris will go to Romania to discuss the region’s rising refugee issue, a day after talks between Ukraine’s and Russia’s foreign ministers failed to bring the violence to a halt.
The news: In Bucharest, Harris will meet President Klaus Iohannis, her second stop on a three-day tour of Eastern Europe. Meanwhile, the US, the Group of Seven, and the European Union will work to rescind Russia’s “most favoured nation” designation in order to put pressure on it to cease the crisis in Ukraine.
- On Thursday, Harris visited with Polish politicians and Ukrainian refugees in Warsaw, offering US support for calls for an international probe into Russian war crimes. Her visit to Poland coincided with a squabble between the US and Poland over the sale of aeroplanes to Ukraine.
- Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, appealed for additional assistance in housing and feeding Ukrainians fleeing the crisis, and said he had asked Harris to speed up the process for refugees seeking to enter the United States who may have family there.
What’s going on: Since the invasion began on February 24, almost 1.43 million Ukrainians have fled to Poland. Over 291,081 Ukrainians have fled to Romania in the same time period.
- According to the United Nations, more than 2.3 million people have fled Ukraine as of March 10; the UN has warned that up to 5 million people may emigrate. This would make it Europe’s worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.
- The United States Senate approved legislation on Thursday to assist Ukraine in funding ammunition and other military supplies, as well as humanitarian aid.
- Russia has denied targeting civilians in its actions in Ukraine, which it describes as a “special operation” aimed at disarming its neighbour and ousting neo-Nazi leaders.