Kamala Harris to attend Ukraine summit after Biden bows out

Washington DC - Vice President Kamala Harris will attend a Ukraine peace summit in Switzerland, the White House said Monday, after President Joe Biden was reportedly set to skip it for an election fundraiser hosted by George Clooney.

Vice President Kamala Harris will attend a Ukraine peace summit in Switzerland on June 15.
Vice President Kamala Harris will attend a Ukraine peace summit in Switzerland on June 15.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Press Wire

Harris, who will be joined by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan for the June 15 meeting in Lucerne, will "underscore the Biden-Harris administration's commitment to supporting Ukraine's effort to secure a just and lasting peace."

"The vice president will reaffirm support for the people of Ukraine as they defend themselves against ongoing Russian aggression," Harris spokesperson Kirsten Allen said in a statement.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had been pushing for Biden to attend the summit, saying that if the US leader did not turn up, it would be like "personally applauding" Russian President Vladimir Putin.

British PM describes Biden's mental state during recent NATO meeting
Joe Biden British PM describes Biden's mental state during recent NATO meeting

Kyiv hopes to win broad international backing at the meeting for its vision of the terms needed to end Russia's war.

But the Swiss summit clashes with a fundraiser in California hosted by Hollywood stars Clooney and Julia Roberts, along with former president Barack Obama, for Biden's re-election bid against Donald Trump.

Biden's apparent no-show in Switzerland comes despite the fact that he will be a short plane-hop away in neighboring Italy for a G7 meeting the day before the Lucerne meeting.

Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Press Wire

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