Psaki Says ‘We Are’ Prepared To Accept Ukrainian Refugees

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing at the White House in Washington

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that the U.S. was prepared to welcome refugees from Ukraine fleeing as a result of Russia’s invasion.

When asked at a press briefing if the U.S. would accept Ukrainians, Psaki said “we are,” but made clear that the U.S. would work to facilitate resettlement of refugees from Ukraine in nearby European countries.

“We certainly expect that most, if not, the majority will want to go to Europe and neighboring countries,” Psaki added. “We are also working with European countries on what the needs are, where there is capacity.”

Psaki went on to cite Poland as an example of a country that could serve as a possible location for fleeing Ukrainians, and said the U.S. government has “been talking and engaging with Europeans about that for some time now.”

Psaki’s comments follow almost 24 hours of fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine late Wednesday. While the outcome of the conflict is yet unclear, Ukrainian civilians have already been killed and residential neighborhoods have been struck by Russian artillery.

President Joe Biden responded to the conflict Thursday by issuing economic sanctions against Russia designed to prevent the country from participating in Western financial markets and curbing the country’s ability to trade. The president also promised to sanction Russian oligarchs.

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