First Lady Jill Biden to meet with Ukrainian refugees in Romania and Slovakia

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Jill Biden will spend Mother’s Day meeting Ukrainian mothers and children who fled for their lives after Russian President Vladimir Putin opened war on Ukraine, the White House announced Sunday.

The May 8 meeting will take place in Slovakia, one of two Eastern European countries the first lady plans to visit on a five-day trip that begins Thursday. She will also make a stopover in Romania.

U.S. First Lady Jill Biden waves during a memorial commissioning ceremony for the USS Delaware nuclear submarine at the Port of Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., April 2, 2022. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz
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U.S. First Lady Jill Biden waves during a memorial commissioning ceremony for the USS Delaware nuclear submarine at the Port of Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., April 2, 2022. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz
(REUTERS/Elisabeth Frantz)

ANGELINA JOLIE MAKES A SURPRISE VISIT TO UKRAINE, MEETING CHILDREN

FILE - Internally displaced people watch from a bus at a refugee center in Zaporizhia, Ukraine, March 25, 2022. The UN refugee agency says more than 4 million refugees have now fled Ukraine after the invasion of Russia, a new stage in the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.  (AP Photo/Evgeny Maloletka)

FILE – Internally displaced people watch from a bus at a refugee center in Zaporizhia, Ukraine, March 25, 2022. The UN refugee agency says more than 4 million refugees have now fled Ukraine after the invasion of Russia, a new stage in the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. (AP Photo/Evgeny Maloletka)
(AP Photo)

The trip will mark Biden’s latest show of solidarity with Ukraine.

Romania and Slovakia share borders with Ukraine, which has spent the past two months battling Russian military invasion. Romania and Slovakia are also members of NATO.

Nearly 5.5 million Ukrainians, mostly women and children, have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded its smaller neighbor on February 24, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Many have resettled in neighboring countries or moved elsewhere in Europe.

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Along the trip, Jill Biden will also meet with U.S. service members, U.S. Embassy staff, aid workers and educators, the White House said.

After arriving in Romania on Friday, she is due to meet with US military personnel at Mihail Kogalniceau Air Base, a US military installation near the Black Sea.

The program then takes him to Bucharest, the Romanian capital, on Saturday to meet with government officials, US embassy staff, aid workers and educators who help teach displaced Ukrainian children. The First Lady will travel to Slovakia to meet with staff from the US Embassy in Bratislava.

People cross the Ukrainian border into Siret, Romania, Wednesday, March 2, 2022, as they evacuate amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.  (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

People cross the Ukrainian border into Siret, Romania, Wednesday, March 2, 2022, as they evacuate amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
(AP Photo)

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On May 8, Jill Biden will travel to Kosice and Vysne Nemecke in Slovakia to meet with refugees, aid workers and local Slovaks supporting Ukrainian refugee families in Slovakia.

She plans to meet with members of the Slovak government on May 9 before returning to the United States.

The trip will be the first lady’s second overseas, following her trip to Tokyo last year for the opening of the delayed 2020 Olympics. The trip will also mark his last gesture of solidarity with Ukraine.

Four days after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, Biden appeared at a White House event wearing a face mask embroidered with a sunflower, Ukraine’s national flower.

She also invited Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, to sit with her during President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address in March, and had a sunflower sewn into the sleeve of the blue dress she wore for the occasion.

President Biden visited Ukrainian refugees during a stopover in Poland in March.

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