“We’ll make the decision now, are you ready to go?” said the president, then jokingly asked a reporter. When asked if he himself was ready to leave for Ukraine, Biden said yes, but did not confirm that this was really part of his plans.
Later, aboard US Air Force One, reporters again asked for Biden’s mysterious suspension, but White House deputy spokesman Karen Jean-Pierre said there was no such plan. We are still negotiating before we make a decision. As you know, we are in regular daily contact with Kyiv and the Ukrainian government. ”
According to press reports citing sources familiar with the situation, it is conceivable that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin or Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will visit Ukraine, but – they said – it is unlikely that Vice President Biden or Kamala Harris will travel there.
According to US newspaper reports, officials began discussing whether to send a high-ranking official to Ukraine after a visit by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Kyiv last week.
“If this ever happens, we need to make sure that it can only happen under very safe conditions,” White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in an interview Thursday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged world leaders to visit Kyiv to witness the devastation wrought by the Russian invasion. In addition to British Prime Minister Johnson last week, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nahammer and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited the eastern European country.
White House spokesman Jen Psaki said Monday that the government “does not currently have any plans for the President of the United States to travel to Ukraine.” The last time Biden visited Kyiv as vice president was in January 2017, when Petro Poroshenko was president of Ukraine.
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