Border-challenged VP Kamala Harris will meet with Ukraine Pres. Zelensky as Russian invasion looms

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Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy this week at the Munich Security Conference to discuss the looming invasion of his country as accusations of shelling take place and Russia allegedly sends an additional 7,000 troops to the border.

Harris is expected to attend a number of meetings with leaders while she is at the conference, according to The Hill.

Zelenskyy spoke with the president earlier this week as Russia has amassed over 170,000 troops on Ukraine’s border, according to Mikk Marran, director-general of the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service. Russian-backed rebels and Ukrainian forces traded accusations on Thursday that each had fired across the ceasefire line into eastern Ukraine, Reuters reported.

Harris is set to arrive at the conference on Friday. She is scheduled to meet with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and the leaders of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, according to a senior administration official.

The meeting with Zelenskyy is slated for Saturday. The meeting will be the first engagement between Harris and Zelenskyy. The vice president is also expected to sit down with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday.

“We are in a very decisive moment,” a senior administration official stated during a call with reporters Wednesday night. “The vice president is leading the U.S. delegation to the Munich Security Conference this year as a resounding signal that engagement with our partners and allies is an absolutely critical part of our overall diplomacy and our approach to this situation.”

Harris will give a speech at the conference addressing the Russian threat to Ukraine and its borders. She is expected to argue that an invasion by Russia would weaken its economy and the country in general. She will also discuss the broader implications of the crisis for European and international order if war breaks out.

The vice president is also expected to speak on unity between the U.S. and European partners in response to Russian aggression as she attempts to calm allies concerning America’s commitment to NATO. She will reportedly meet with bipartisan congressional delegations to the security conference as well.

A full-blown invasion by Russia is expected at any time by the Biden administration. Foreign policy experts assert that sending Harris to Munich is indicative of the seriousness with which the administration is approaching the situation.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken will also reportedly attend the conference in a show of commitment and strength by the United States.

When a senior administration official was asked if Harris’ plans to attend the conference could change if Russia invades Ukraine, he stated that the situation is “fluid” but the vice president is determined to attend the conference.

“This is something that we’ve talked about from the very beginning in terms of what we have seen, in terms of the buildup and the fact that it is continuing. And our determination to stand together with our allies to have very strong unity within NATO as well as across the European Union is unflagging,” the official remarked.

He added, “Her reason for going to Munich is to meet with what we think is over three dozen heads of state who will be there. She will hold these highest-level meetings to consult with them.”

The conference is also seen as a PR move for Harris.

“They really needed to up her foreign policy game,” said one Democratic strategist, according to The Hill. “I think helping to sharpen her skills on the world stage is a good move not only for the White House but as we look to the future. It doesn’t do anyone any good to keep her on the sidelines.”

Harris was mercilessly shredded on social media:


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