The White House is sending Vice President Kamala Harris to Europe next week to reassure NATO allied countries the United States stands with them.
The Vice President will travel to Poland and Romana, two countries bordering Ukraine, where Russian President Vladimir Putin has significantly escalated his military invasion in recent weeks.
“Her visit will demonstrate the strength and unity of the NATO Alliance and U.S. support for NATO’s eastern flank allies in the face of Russian aggression,” Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said in a statement to reporters about the vice president’s visit.
Her trip will take place March 9-11.
This will be the second trip for Harris to Europe in just weeks, as she was also sent Germany for the Munich Security Conference to demonstrate the strength and support of the United States.
During that trip she met with world leaders, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and publicly warned Putin that if he further invaded Ukraine, he would be met with punishing sanctions.
“These are some of the greatest sanctions, if not the strongest, that we’ve ever issued,” the vice president said to reporters during her trip, noting that, “The purpose of the sanctions has always been and continues to be deterrence.”
When asked by reporters if the sanctions would deter Putin, she replied, “Absolutely.”
The Russian president chose to escalate his war in Ukraine anyway.
Afterward, President Joe Biden admitted that he never believed sanctions would prevent Putin from escalating the war.
“No one expected the sanctions to prevent anything from happening,” he said. “This is going to take time.”