“No. no,” Psaki said in answer to questions by “Pod Save America” podcast hosts on whether the administration was even considering sending the president to Kyiv.
Speculation surfaced on whether Biden would visit the war-torn country following U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s trip to Ukraine last week.
When asked by reporters Thursday on whether he was personally ready to travel to Kyiv Biden said, “Yeah.”
“He’s ready for anything,” Psaki said Friday. “The man likes the fast cars and aviators. He’s ready to go to Ukraine. It’s true he does.
“We are not sending the president to Ukraine,” she added firmly.
Psaki said Johnson took an eight-hour train ride through a war zone to reach Kyiv and meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as a show of support following weeks of a deadly Russian invasion.
“That is not in the plans for the president of the United States,” Psaki said. “We should all be maybe relieved about that.”
Biden said Thursday that the U.S. is considering sending a senior administration official and reports surfaced this week suggesting Secretary of State Antony Blinken or Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin may be making the trek eastward.
Late last month Biden traveled to Warsaw, Poland, to meet with NATO allies and Ukrainian refugees who were forced to flee amid Russia’s incursion.
The president has ardently condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin and called him a “butcher” after meeting with Ukrainian refugees – millions of whom crossed Polish borders to escape the violence.
But when asked by reporters if he was planning on crossing into Ukraine at that time he said he would be unable to for security reasons.
“Part of my disappointment is that I can’t see it first-hand like I have in other places,” Biden said. “They will not let me, understandably I guess, cross the border and take a look at what’s going on in Ukraine.”
Prime ministers from the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia were among the first national leaders to visit Ukraine last month.
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