US President Joe Biden said he hoped to see Ukrainian refugees during his visit to Poland on Friday, although he said he doubted witnessing the crisis change his approach.
“I’m planning on trying to see these people, and hopefully I can see – I guess I’m not supposed to say where I’m going, am I. Hopefully I can see a lot of them. people,” Biden said at a press conference in Brussels.
Biden is expected to visit Poland on Friday, where millions of refugees have fled amid war in Ukraine. The precise details of his visit there are being kept secret for security reasons.
Biden, noting that he had visited “many, many war zones,” said he understood the plight of migrants.
“I have been in refugee camps. I’ve been in war zones for the past 15 years. And it’s – it’s devastating,” he said. “What you watch the most is you see these young children who are in these camps.”
Biden said visiting the refugees would reinforce his view that the United States must take major action to help resettle those displaced by war.
“The United States is the leader of – one of the leaders of the international community. Has an obligation to be engaged,” he said.
More context: At least 10 million people have been forced to flee their homes in Ukraine after the Russian invasion less than a month ago, the head of the United Nations refugee agency said on Sunday.
Of those who have left their homes, the majority – 6.48 million as of March 16, according to figures provided Friday by the International Organization for Migration – have been internally displaced since the conflict began on February 24 .
Others have sought refuge in neighboring countries, including Poland, Romania, Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia, Russia and Belarus.
More than 3.2 million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion in late February, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
The Polish Interior Ministry said on Friday that at least two million refugees fleeing war in Ukraine have crossed the Polish border. The number of refugees still in Poland is considerably lower, with many of those fleeing the conflict continuing their journey to other European countries.
CNN’s George Ramsay and Benjamin Brown contributed to this post.