The president won’t visit Kiev, but US lawmakers are in the Ukrainian capital demanding more weapons
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday that President Joe Biden will not be visiting Ukraine, a day after Biden himself said he’s ready to make the trip. A procession of world leaders have traveled to Kiev in recent weeks, and although Biden won’t be joining them, Republican lawmakers are already there, demanding more arms for the Zelensky government.
Asked on Thursday whether he’s ready to travel to Kiev, Biden told a reporter “yes.” However, Psaki appeared on the ‘Pod Save America’ podcast a day later to pour cold water on these apparent plans.
“He’s ready for anything,”Psaki spoke of Biden before adding: “we are not sending the president to Ukraine.”
While Biden has pledged US support to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government, a trip to Poland last month was the closest he personally came to Ukraine since Russia launched its military offensive there in February. Psaki claimed Friday that Ukraine would not be allowed to enter Poland from Poland. “eight-hour train through a war zone,”Something that’s not “not in the plans for the president of the US.”
Republican lawmakers hammeredBiden apologized earlier this week to not visit Kiev after meeting with Zelensky, the British Prime Minister. Johnson was not the only one who visited Kiev. The EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, along with the heads of Austria, Estonia Latvia Lithuania, Lithuania, and Poland, also made an appearance.
Then, as now, the White House insisted that Biden would not follow in Johnson’s footsteps. Instead, “he sits in the Oval Office and in the Situation Room on a daily basis, organizing and coordinating the world when it comes to the delivery of weapons,”Jake Sullivan, National Security Adviser, spoke to NBC News Sunday.
However, the White House is considering sending a top official – likely Secretary of State Tony Blinken or Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin – to Kiev as a show of support, Politico reported on Wednesday.
Biden approved the US latest arms shipment to Ukraine Wednesday. This $800 million shipment includes heavy artillery and helicopters as well as autonomous kamikaze drones. CNN reports that this shipment will arrive in the region by Friday’s flight.
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