By AAMER MADHANI and CHRIS MEGERIAN
Bucharest, Romania (AP) —US Vice President Kamala Harris visited NATO’s collective defense on Friday when he visited his ally Romania, which experienced a flood of refugees from neighboring Ukraine during the Russian invasion. He said his dedication was an “iron wall.”
“We take it seriously and are ready to act,” Harris said in a press conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.
Harris also thanked Romania, a Balkan country with 19 million residents, who welcomed more than 84,000 Ukrainian refugees earlier this week. The Ukrainian refugee crisis is expected to become even more difficult in the coming days and weeks, and Romanian people are “extraordinary in the generosity and courage they have shown at this moment.”
She warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin had shown “no signs of engaging in serious diplomacy” to end the war in Ukraine. And she reiterated that Americans should be prepared to withstand higher gas prices as the United States and its allies punish Russia, a major global oil supplier, with economic sanctions against aggression.
“Democracy comes at a price. Let’s stand with our friends,” Harris said, adding that “sometimes it’s difficult and sometimes it’s not.”
Johannis said he would increase his defense spending from 2% to 2.5% of gross domestic product (GDP). This is the latest example of a European country investing more in national security in Russia’s aggression. He also said NATO needs to “fundamentally rethink” its approach to the eastern side and talked to Harris about increasing the presence of the alliance there.
“NATO will clearly act without hesitation to protect all allies, including Romania,” Iohanis said. “That’s a scenario we all want to avoid.”
Harris’s meeting with Iohanis in Bucharest took place after spending Thursday in Poland, which has already welcomed about 1.5 million Ukrainians since the invasion began last month. She wanted to meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda, Prime Minister Mateush Morawicki, Ukrainian refugees and others in Warsaw to get a more complete picture of the progress of the humanitarian crisis.
Harris told Iohanis shortly after arriving in Bucharest, “We tried to reaffirm our commitment to this partnership and the entire NATO alliance.”
According to UN data, Romania’s Southeastern European country, about 19 million residents, accepted more than 84,000 refugees as of Tuesday. Other countries to the east of NATO, such as Hungary, Moldova and Slovakia, have also accepted tens of thousands of refugees.
Harris said the United States is “absolutely ready” to help those who understand the moral obligations we should feel to escape harm and help those seeking refuge. Stated. It’s a burden that we all have to prepare to undertake to help those who flee home when they don’t want to leave. “
Duda said in a press conference with Harris that Polish leaders “know that the problem is growing and that the problem is growing.”
“We have to deal with it somehow and we have no experience,” he said.
Since the beginning of the war, more than 2.3 million people have fled Ukraine as a whole, and the number of refugees is increasing day by day. The United Nations warns that up to 5 million people can flee Ukraine. It will be Europe’s greatest humanitarian crisis since World War II.
Duda said he had asked Harris to relay to President Joe Biden. Poland wants to see a quick visa procedure for Ukrainians whose families live in the United States so that they can settle in the United States at least temporarily.
Harris said most refugees fleeing Ukraine prefer to stay in Europe. Earlier this month, the administration provided humanitarian relief to Ukrainians in the United States. This prevented thousands of people from being deported to their war-torn hometowns. Ukrainians already in the United States can stay in the United States for up to 18 months under a federal program known as Temporary Protection Status.
The Pentagon announced last month that it would deploy a striker armored vehicle of about 1,000 additional soldiers in NATO member Romania as the Biden administration seeks to strengthen the presence of a military alliance to the east of NATO.
US officials continue to be concerned about Romania’s vulnerability in the midst of Russia’s activities in the Black Sea.
Before leaving Warsaw for Romania on Friday, Harris met with US and Polish troops.
“We are standing as partners,” Harris told the military. “We work together, train together, and form friendships based on solidarity, mutual values, and common principles.”
Megerian reported from Washington.
US Dedication to Collective NATO Defense “Ironclad” – Reporter Online
Source link US Dedication to Collective NATO Defense “Ironclad” – Reporter Online