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Biden will visit Poland following NATO summit on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

By Paul LeBlanc and Nikki Carvajal, CNN

President Joe Biden will travel to Poland on Friday, where he will meet with President Andrzej Duda, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Sunday evening.

The visit will cap a closely watched trip to Europe that will see Biden travel to Brussels to participate in a NATO summit on March 24 and join a European Council meeting as world leaders seek to align their responses to Russia’s unprovoked and brutal invasion of Ukraine.

Ahead of the trip, Biden on Monday will hold a call with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson “to discuss their coordinated responses to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine,” according to a statement from the White House.

Since the prospect of the NATO leaders summit was first broached roughly two weeks ago, American and European officials have been discussing potential announcements for leaders to make at the conclusion of the gathering, according to several people familiar with the plans.

That could include new rounds of sanctions on Russian oligarchs, additional measures restricting the country’s finances and new steps to limit imports of Russian energy products. Discussions are also underway on what measures can be unveiled to provide more support for Ukraine, including new shipments of military assistance or financial aid to bolster the country’s defenses.

But major items that Ukraine wants, like help from NATO in establishing a no-fly zone or providing Soviet-era fighter jets, appear for now off the table as the US and its partners seek to avoid direct confrontation with Russia. Earlier this month, the Pentagon said that it was bluntly opposed to a Polish plan to provide fighter jets to Ukraine over concerns of being drawn into an outright conflict with Russia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday he is ready to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but warned that if any negotiation attempts fail, it could lead to “a third World War.”

“I’m ready for negotiations with him. I was ready for the last two years. And I think that without negotiations, we cannot end this war,” Zelensky told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in an exclusive interview Sunday morning.

“If there’s just 1% chance for us to stop this war, I think that we need to take this chance. We need to do that. … We are losing people on a daily basis, innocent people on the ground.”

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CNN’s Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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