Biden heading to Europe amid Ukraine tensions

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says Vice President Joe Biden will travel next week to Poland and Lithuania amid tensions in nearby Ukraine.

The trip is part of a U.S. effort to pressure Russia over a military intervention in Crimea that has the entire region on edge.

Biden will depart on Monday. That's the day after a planned vote in Crimea about whether to split off from Ukraine and possibly join Russia. The U.S. says the vote shouldn't take place.

Biden will meet with Poland's president and prime minister, plus the presidents of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The White House says the leaders plan to discuss ways to support Ukraine's sovereignty. They'll also discuss the defense commitments that NATO allies have to one another.

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