White House officials are discussing the possibility of U.S. President Joe Biden traveling to Europe in the coming weeks to discuss Russia and Ukraine with allies, a source familiar with the situation said on Monday.
It is not certain whether the trip will take place as the plans are not yet finalized, the source added.
The White House declined to comment.
At the same time, people fleeing what had been the relative safety of western Ukraine joined thousands crossing into eastern Europe on Monday after Russia attacked a Ukrainian base near the border with NATO-member Poland.
Ukraine said 35 people were killed at the base on Sunday. Moscow said up to 180 “foreign mercenaries” died and a large number of foreign weapons were destroyed.
Ukraine also reported renewed air strikes on an airport in the west of the country. Read full story
The number of refugees fleeing Ukraine since Russia invaded on Feb. 24 climbed to more than 2.8 million, United Nations data showed on Monday, in what has become Europe’s fastest growing refugee crisis since World War Two.
European Union officials have said 5 million may end up fleeing while others have put the figure higher.
Millions of people have also been displaced inside Ukraine, with many evacuated only as far as the quieter western regions, including to cities like Lviv. Read full story
Myroslava, 52, fled her home in the Ternopil region, in western Ukraine, and was waiting in a terminal of Krakow station in Poland to be picked up by acquaintances. She did not know where she would stay.
“We left because of the attack yesterday,” she said, adding that she had hoped western Ukraine would be safe. “We weren’t planning to leave, but as it was so close we decided to.”
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a news conference with his counterparts from Ukraine and Lithuania that the attack near its border showed Russia wanted to “create panic among the civilian population”. Read full story
Mira from Kyiv, travelling with her mother to Warsaw, said she had been surprised by the Russian attack near Lviv. “I just panicked and felt scared,” she said.
Battles continued around many of Ukraine‘s main cities, including the capital Kyiv. Ukraine said it would try to evacuate civilians through 10 humanitarian corridors on Monday. Read full storyRead full story
Russia denies targeting civilians, describing its actions as a “special operation” to demilitarise and “de-Nazify” Ukraine. Ukraine and Western allies call this a baseless pretext for Russia’s invasion of the democratic country of 44 million.
“Houses were blown up,” Alena Kasinyska, a refugee from the town of Mykolaiv, in southern Ukraine, said after crossing into Romania at Isaccea, a busy border crossing in the Danube delta. “People have no place to live, we are scared.”
Ukraine said it had begun “hard” talks on a ceasefire, immediate withdrawal of troops and security guarantees with Russia on Monday.
Both sides reported rare progress at the weekend after earlier rounds primarily focused on ceasefires to get aid to cities under siege by Russian forces and evacuate civilians. Those truces have frequently failed.