Biden departs for Europe where he will discuss Ukraine with counterparts

This will be the first time the U.S. president meets in person with his European counterparts since the conflict began.

Updated: March 23, 2022 - 9:50am

President Joe Biden boarded Marine One on Wednesday morning as he heads off to Europe, where he will meet with world leaders in Brussels to discuss the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Prior to boarding, Biden told the press pool that he believes the potential of chemical warfare in Ukraine is "a real threat."

Biden has spoken with other European leaders on several occasions since the Russian invasion of Ukraine nearly one month ago. This will, however, be his first trip to meet with his European counterparts in person. 

On Thursday, Biden will meet with NATO and G7 leaders in Brussels and on Friday, Biden will visit Poland, which has acted as a key ally to Ukraine during the conflict, absorbing more than 2 million refugees so far.

"On this trip we will make clear that the West is united in our defense of democracy. Putin thought he would divide us, but we are stronger than at any time in recent history. We stand with Ukraine and we will continue to ensure Putin pays a heavy economic price for his actions," said Biden on Tuesday.

The president's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, who is also traveling with Biden to Europe, has made it clear that the war in Ukraine is not, at this moment, on track to end quickly or easily.