- The Washington Times
Saturday, May 7, 2022

First lady Jill Biden on Saturday met with refugees in Romania as part of her Eastern European tour amid Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.

Mrs. Biden lauded Romania’s support for those displaced by the war, as refugees continue to flee to neighboring countries.

“I felt like there was hope in that there were some answers coming forward, and they felt that there was some structure to their lives and they were getting supplies,” she said after speaking with Ukrainian women and children at a school in Bucharest, Romania.

Mrs. Biden was joined by Romania‘s First Lady Carmen Iohannis during her visit.

Mrs. Biden said that Romania’s support for its neighbors seeking refuge from the war was “amazing,” noting the extraordinary lengths Romanians have gone to “to welcome all these refugees into their homes and offer them food and clothing and shelter and give them their hearts.”

But she cautioned that the international community still has its work cut out for it as the war in Ukraine continues to rage.

“We’re all hopeful, right? We wake up every morning and think ‘this has to end,’ but it still keeps going on and on. I mean, you know, it’s been going on really since 2014,” Mrs. Biden said.

Romania has opened its doors to 900,000 Ukrainians since the Russian invasion on Feb. 24.

Pablo Zapata, Romania’s representative for the U.N. refugee agency, said nearly 7,000 Ukrainians continue to cross into Romania daily.

The international community, including Ukraine’s neighbors to the West, has provided refugees with a variety of services including food, shelter, and health care.

Mrs. Biden noted the continued U.S. support for Ukraine and the international refugee response as she spoke to reporters.

They all realize how much money the United States has been giving to Ukraine and to the refugee situation and to Romania to support the refugees … I thought that was really important,” she said.

Mrs. Biden is on her second day of a four-day trip to Romania and Slovakia aimed at showcasing U.S. support for Ukrainian refugees.

— This story includes wire reporting. 

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

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