Biden says he is making a decision about sending a senior administrative official to Ukraine


Washington
CNN

President Joe Biden He said on Thursday that he is still working with his team to determine whether he should send a senior member of his administration to Ukraine, Show potential dramatic support for the nation as it is Under attack from Russia.

“We’re making that decision now,” Biden said when asked if he would send a senior official to Ukraine. When asked who would send him, Biden returned to a reporter and said, “Are you ready to go?”

Since the withdrawal of Russian forces from the area around Kiev, a number of Western leaders have made their way to the Ukrainian capital to show support.

US officials had initial discussions about sending a high-ranking member of the administration to Ukraine, according to a source familiar with the talks.

While Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are unlikely to visit Kyiv themselves anytime soon, officials have discussed sending Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin or Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

However, the sources said that the decision is not over yet and that the visit will not eventually materialize.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made A surprise visit to Kyiv last weekend. US officials said afterwards that Biden was not currently planning a trip of his own.

“We are not currently planning a trip by the President of the United States to Ukraine,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday. More importantly, she said, the presidential visit was the continued supply of arms and support.

“The most important thing for the Ukrainian leadership is that we speed up the weapons and provide them with the assistance and security systems that they need, and that’s what our focus is,” she said.

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In a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday, Biden told his counterpart New $800 million security aid packageIncluding 11 Mi-17 helicopters, 300 Switchblade drones, 18 howitzers and protective gear. To protect against chemical attacks.

During a last-minute visit to Poland last month, Biden told aid workers he would have liked to visit Ukraine to see the situation at close range.

“They’re not going to let me, understandably, I think, cross the border and look at what’s happening in Ukraine,” Biden said. The White House had said before the trip that they had not sought any visit to Ukraine.

Speaking Thursday, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Biden would “love the opportunity to go to Ukraine to show solidarity with the Ukrainians,” and that the possibility was discussed prior to Biden’s trip to Warsaw last month.

Sullivan said the discussions included what kind of fingerprinting it would take to ensure the president’s safety. But he added that he was “not under any serious planning,” and declined to comment further on reports that a senior US official might visit Kyiv in the near future.

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