Washington, DC – The First Lady will spend Mother’s Day with Ukrainian mothers and children who were forced to flee their home country because of Putin’s war.
The First Lady will spend Mother’s Day weekend traveling to Romania and Slovakia to visit with US troops in the region and reaffirm US ties with these two NATO allies. “Dr. Biden is inspired by the resilience and strength of the Ukrainian people and hopes to communicate that Americans are standing with them. On Mother’s Day, she will meet with Ukrainian mothers and children who have been forced to flee their home country because of Putin’s war,” said the First Lady’s office.
On Friday, May 6, Dr. Biden will visit Mihail Kogălniceanu (MK) Air Base in Romania and meet with US and NATO military leadership. The First Lady will serve meals and visit with some of the US troops assigned to the base before traveling to Bucharest. Joining Forces, the First Lady’s White House initiative to support military families will conduct a virtual story-time with “United Through Reading,” an organization that connects military families with deployed service members through video recordings and virtual book readings.
On Saturday, May 7, Dr. Biden will receive a briefing on humanitarian efforts from UN agencies, NGOs, and the Romanian Government at the American Embassy in Bucharest. Dr. Biden will meet with Romania’s First Lady, Carmen Iohannis, to express gratitude for Romania’s generosity and support for Ukrainian refugees. Like Dr. Biden, Mrs. Iohannis kept her job as an English teacher after becoming First Lady. She teaches at the Gheorge Lazar National College in Sibiu, Romania. Dr. Biden will visit a public school in Bucharest hosting Ukrainian refugee students. She will then travel to Bratislava, Slovakia, and greet staff at the US Embassy.
On Sunday, May 8, Dr. Biden will fly to Kosice, Slovakia, where she will visit a city-run refugee center and a school. The City of Kosice, UN agencies, and NGOs provide services for refugees at the refugee center as they rest and prepare for onward travel. The First Lady will tour and learn about these services, hear from Ukrainian refugees, and express gratitude to the City of Kosice and workers from NGOs and UN agencies. Then, Dr. Biden will visit a public school in Kosice hosting Ukrainian refugee students. Here, the First Lady will spend time with mothers and children (both Ukrainian refugees and Slovaks) as the families participate in Mother’s Day activities together. Next, the First Lady will travel to the Slovakia-Ukraine border crossing in Vysne Nemecke, Slovakia, where Ukrainian refugees can enter Slovakia and receive essential services before moving to processing centers or transit hubs further inside the country. On the tour, Dr. Biden will learn about the experiences of aid workers and refugees and express gratitude to the humanitarian staff. She will also visit a facility provided by the local Greek Catholic church that serves refugees, volunteers, NGO workers, and first responders.
On Monday, May 9, the First Lady will meet with President of Slovakia Zuzana Caputova at the Presidential Palace in Bratislava to reaffirm our strong bilateral ties and express our gratitude for Slovakia’s support for Ukrainian refugees and cross-border assistance to Ukraine. After she visits the palace, the First Lady will depart for Joint Base Andrews.
The First Lady will be accompanied on the trip by Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried, Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs at the National Security Council Curtis Ried, and Director for Humanitarian Affairs at the National Security Council Daniel Dieckhaus. Ambassador to the European Union Mark Gitenstein and Mrs. Elizabeth Gitenstein will join the First Lady for the Romania portion of the trip. Ambassador Gitenstein served as the US Ambassador to Romania from 2009-to 2012.