U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is in Warsaw, the first stop on a four-day trip to Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic.
Biden holds talks Wednesday with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and President Lech Kaczynski before heading to Bucharest and Prague.
White House officials say Biden will be meeting with European leaders about expanding trade and strengthening democracy. They have dismissed speculation that the vice president's tour was scheduled because of disappointment in Warsaw and Prague over the U.S. decision to scrap plans for a defensive missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic.
President Barack Obama announced last month that the United States will instead develop a new, more flexible missile system, including sea-based missiles.
While in central Europe, the vice president will meet with heads of state and other government officials, as well as representatives of civil society. The vice president's national security adviser, Tony Blinken, said Biden also is marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.