Kamala Harris will represent the US at a Swiss ‘peace summit’ for Ukraine – Metro US

Kamala Harris will represent the US at a Swiss ‘peace summit’ for Ukraine

Vice President Air Force Graduation
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during the 2024 Air Force Academy graduation at Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo., Thursday, May 30, 2024. (Jerilee Bennett//The Gazette via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris will represent the U.S. at this month’s Swiss-organized global peace summit on the war in Ukraine, an event promoted by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The White House said Harris would attend the meeting in Lucerne on June 15. President Joe Biden is scheduled to be at a campaign fundraiser in Los Angeles hosted by actors George Clooney and Julia Roberts.

“The Vice President will underscore the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to supporting Ukraine’s effort to secure a just and lasting peace, based on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and the principles of the U.N. charter, said her communications director, Kirsten Allen. She said Harris will also “reaffirm support for the people of Ukraine as they defend themselves against ongoing Russian aggression.”

Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, will join Harris as part of the U.S. delegation.

Zelenskyy has heavily boosted the summit and encouraged world leaders to attend, even as he’s accused Russia, with China’s help, of trying to undermine the meeting.

Asked Monday if the president was sending the wrong message globally by forgoing the peace summit to attend a glitzy California fundraiser, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said “there hasn’t been any single leader around the world who has supported Ukraine more and more stridently than Joe Biden.”

He said Harris will be attending the summit “because of our desire to be represented around that table” and her presence will help demonstrate that “Ukraine has no stronger backer than the United States.”

“No matter who represents the United States at this summit,” Kirby said during a virtual briefing with reporters, “It can’t be said that the United States has in any way walked away from supporting Ukraine.”