President Joe Biden is considering making a trip to Europe around the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine next month, two senior administration officials tell CNN.
A trip is not yet confirmed, and details have yet to be finalized. But one of the officials said that one stop under consideration is Poland, a key NATO ally currently housing thousands of American troops that also serves as a hub for Western weapons transfers to Ukraine. US service members are also training Ukrainian troops there.
It is highly unlikely that Biden would travel to Ukraine as part of this trip, however, one of the officials said, given the ongoing security concerns.
Biden’s aides have been planning for several weeks how they will mark the anniversary of the invasion, including potentially a major address. They hope to emphasize the resilience of the Ukrainian people, noting that when the war began, many assumed Kyiv would fall within days.
NBC News first reported a trip to Europe was under consideration.
Vice President Kamala Harris is also expected to be in Europe next month attending the Munich Security Conference, where the war in Ukraine will be the top subject of discussion among world leaders.
A presidential trip to Europe on the anniversary of the war would underscore US unity with Europe and NATO against Russia, which Biden sought to drive home this week when he announced that the US would be joining an international coalition of allies – including the United Kingdom and Germany – that will send heavy Western tanks to Ukraine.
The tanks decision came as the US and its allies are working to prepare Ukraine for a potential Russian offensive in the next few weeks or months, and to give Ukraine the equipment and training it needs to launch a successful counteroffensive and take back its territory.
As CNN has reported, US and Western officials are urging Ukraine to shift its focus from the brutal, monthslong fight in the eastern city of Bakhmut and prioritize instead a potential offensive in the south, using a different style of fighting that takes advantage of the billions of dollars in new military hardware recently committed by Western allies.
The hundreds of armored vehicles the US and European countries have provided to Ukraine in recent weeks, and the tanks the US and Europe are preparing to transfer, are meant to help Ukraine make that shift, officials said.
This story has been updated with additional reporting.