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The U.S. will take in up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war

Refugees from Ukraine wait to get on buses to other destinations in Poland, outside the train station in Przemysl, near the Ukrainian-Polish border in southeastern Poland, on Wednesday.
Angelos Tzortzinis
AFP via Getty Images
Refugees from Ukraine wait to get on buses to other destinations in Poland, outside the train station in Przemysl, near the Ukrainian-Polish border in southeastern Poland, on Wednesday.

The United States will welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians and other displaced people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine, a senior administration official told reporters traveling with President Biden on Thursday.

While most displaced Ukrainians want to stay in Europe, the U.S. government expects to use its refugee admission program as well as the parole system and immigrant and non-immigrant visas to bring in Ukrainians, the official said, noting Ukrainian-Americans are eager to welcome family members into the country. Vulnerable people including LGBTQI people, people with medical needs and journalists and dissidents will also be prioritized, the official said.

A second official told reporters that Biden plans to announce $1 billion in new funding for humanitarian aid for Ukrainians and refugees in neighboring countries.

The Biden administration, G-7 and the EU are also moving to block Russian sales of gold aimed at propping up the ruble, a third official said. Russia's central bank had about 20% of its reserves in gold ahead of its invasion of Ukraine, the official said, noting "market chatter" about efforts to evade sanctions on the central bank by selling some of the reserves.

Other announcements being made while Biden is in Brussels today include:

  • The U.S. will slap full blocking sanctions on more than 300 members of the Russian Duma and more than 40 Russian defense companies, as well as on Herman Gref, the head of Sberbank and a Putin adviser, and oligarch Gennady Timchenko. Some of these sanctions are aligning the U.S. with moves already taken by its allies.
  • The U.S., G-7 and EU will start a new sanctions evasion initiative to prevent China or other countries from helping Russian banks do business abroad.
  • The G-7 will announce that international organization and multilateral fora should no longer conduct activities with Russia in a "business-as-usual manner." Notably, Russia is a member of the G-20.
  • The U.S. will provide $11 billion for global food security because Ukraine's wheat production will be hindered in the coming season, which poses a particular threat to the Middle East and Northern Africa.
  • The U.S. will provide $320 million to a European democracy resiliency program, including efforts to document and preserve evidence of potential war crimes in the Ukraine conflict and help countries such as Moldova.

  • This story originally appeared in the Morning Edition live blog.

    Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.
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