Blinken Pledges More Aid for Ukrainian Refugees
i24 News – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken praised Poland Saturday for its open embrace of hundreds of thousands of fleeing Ukrainians and said Washington was preparing to set aside another $2.75 billion for the humanitarian crisis.
“The people of Poland know how important it is to defend freedom,” he said after talks with Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau in Rzeszow, near the border with Ukraine.
“Poland is doing vital work in response to this crisis,” Blinken added.
He said the White House was seeking $2.75b to provide support for those fleeing Ukraine, and countries that accept them, after Russia began its invasion on February 24.
Speaking next to Blinken, Rau said Poland would remain open to refugees.
“Russia’s aggression in Ukraine caused a humanitarian crisis of an unimaginable scale,” said Rau.
“Our priority is organizing effective aid to hundreds of thousands, and soon to be millions of refugees.”
Rau also pledged not to discriminate between refugees of different nationalities, after reports circulated in Washington that Africans and others fleeing from Ukraine were being impeded at the border with Poland.
Blinken arrived in Poland on Saturday for talks with officials on cooperation on defense and humanitarian support related to the conflict.
More than 780,000 people have fled Ukraine into Poland since the invasion began on February 24.
Including other neighboring countries, more than a million have left Ukraine and a million more are estimated to be displaced within the country.