US VP Harris embraces call for war crimes probe of Russia – Press Telegram


WARSAW, Poland (AP) – U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday accepted requests for an international investigation into Russia’s war crimes over her invasion of Ukraine, citing the “atrocities” of the civilian bombings, including a maternity leave.

Speaking to Polish President Andrzej Duda at a press conference in Warsaw, where he is showing US support for NATO’s eastern allies, Harris expressed outrage over Wednesday’s bombing of maternity and evacuation scenes. bloody pregnant women, as well as other attacks. about civilians. He did not directly accuse Russia of committing war crimes.

“There absolutely should be an investigation, and we should all be watching,” Harris said, noting that the United Nations has already begun a process to review the allegations. “I have no doubt that the eyes of the world are on this war and on what Russia has done about this aggression and these atrocities.”

Doubt, for his part, said that “it is obvious to us that in Ukraine the Russians are committing war crimes.” He added that, in his view, the invasion “has the characteristics of a genocide: it aims to eliminate and destroy a nation.”

Harris praised the Polish people for their generosity in hosting nearly 1.5 million refugees since Russia invaded Ukraine last month.

“I’ve been watching or reading about the work of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, so I bring you the gratitude of the American people,” Harris said earlier during a meeting with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki hours after the US House. spending bill that includes $ 13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine and its European allies.

The legislation includes $ 6.8 billion to help refugees and other financial aid to allies.

Harris also met on Thursday afternoon with Ukrainian refugees who have fled Poland since the Russian invasion began. She praised the refugees for their “courage” and said the conversation would help inform U.S. aid efforts.

The vice president also plans to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau while in Warsaw. The Canadian leader has been in Europe in recent days meeting with allies about Ukraine.

The White House described Harris’ whirlwind visit to Poland and Romania as an opportunity for the vice president to consult with two of the leaders of NATO’s eastern flank nations about the growing humanitarian crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Already, more than 2 million refugees have fled Ukraine – with more than half arriving in Poland – and more are expected to arrive in the coming days.

Duda warned of a “refugee disaster” if Poland does not receive more aid to help house and feed Ukrainians fleeing the conflict. He said he had asked Harris that the United States “speed up” the process for those Ukrainian refugees who want to go to the United States and have a family there.

“The United States is absolutely ready to do what we can and should do to support Poland, in terms of the burden they have assumed,” Harris said.

But differences between Warsaw and Washington over a Polish plan to send Soviet-made fighters to a base in Germany for use in Ukraine have cast a shadow over Harris’ visit to Poland. Just as Harris arrived in Warsaw late Wednesday night, the Pentagon finally rejected the idea.

The proposal was presented publicly by Poland, without first consulting the US, days after Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Biden administration was “very, very actively” analyzing a proposal under which Ukraine’s neighbor , Poland, would supply Kiev with Soviet-era fighters and in turn receive American F-16s to make up for their loss. Polish government officials, however, insisted that any transfer of aircraft must be done within the framework of NATO.

“In a nutshell, we have to be a responsible member of the North Atlantic Alliance,” Duda said.

On Wednesday, the Pentagon closed its doors to the prospect of NATO moving planes to Ukraine, saying such a move with a U.S.-NATO connection would run a “high risk” of escalating the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Harris, in his statements, set aside any idea of ​​tensions between Poland and the United States over how to effectively support Ukraine. “I want to be very clear, the United States and Poland are united in what we have done and are ready to do to help Ukraine and the people of Ukraine, period,” he said.

General Tod D. Wolters, commander of the US European Command. The United States said in a statement on Thursday that “the most effective way to support the Ukrainian military in its fight against Russia is to provide more anti-tank weapons and air defense systems.” “That effort by the United States and its allies continues,” Wolters said.

Harris will travel to Bucharest on Friday, where he will meet with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

AP writer Zeke Miller contributed from Washington.

US VP Harris embraces call for war crimes probe of Russia – Press Telegram Source link US VP Harris embraces call for war crimes probe of Russia – Press Telegram

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