Biden says Ukraine visit unlikely during Europe trip
President Biden said Monday that he’s unlikely to visit Ukraine during a trip to Europe later this week.
Biden told reporters in Rehoboth Beach, Del., that any decision to go into Ukraine would depend on “whether or not it causes more difficulty for Ukrainians, whether it distracts from what’s going on.”
Asked if he would visit the country on his upcoming trip to Europe, Biden answered: “On this trip, not likely.”
Biden is scheduled to travel to Germany on Saturday for a Group of Seven (G-7) leaders’ summit and will from there head to Spain where is he attending a NATO meeting.
The White House has previously made clear that any presidential trip to Ukraine would not be announced ahead of time for security reasons.
Several European leaders have visited Ukraine amid the Russian war, including most recently the leaders of France, Italy and Germany. Those trips have raised questions about whether Biden will eventually travel into the country.
On Friday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson traveled to Kyiv for a second time since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February.
And first lady Jill Biden also made a surprise trip into Ukraine earlier this year on Mother’s Day to meet with Ukraine’s first lady Olena Zelenska.
During an impromptu press gaggle on the beach in Rehoboth on Monday, Biden noted that he often speaks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about the Russian invasion.
Biden spoke by phone with Zelensky last week to brief him on a new $1 billion weapons package that the U.S. is sending to Ukraine to help the country thwart the Russian invasion.
Biden has a fair amount of overseas travel coming up. Shortly after the Europe trip, Biden will embark on his first trip to the Middle East as president with stops in Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia. That trip is scheduled to take place between July 13 and 16.