President Biden made a secret trip to the besieged capital of Ukraine on Monday, arriving after an hourslong train ride from the border of Poland in a demonstration of his administration’s resolve in the face of Russia’s yearlong invasion of the country, APA reports citing New York Times.
The visit to Kyiv was conducted covertly because of security concerns, with Mr. Biden departing Washington without notice after he and his wife had a rare dinner out at a restaurant on Saturday night.
Mr. Biden had already been publicly scheduled to arrive in Warsaw on Tuesday morning for a two-day visit, and officials had repeatedly denied that there were any other plans they could announce about a trip to Ukraine while he was there. Indeed, the White House on Sunday night issued a public schedule for Monday showing the president still in Washington and leaving in the evening for Warsaw, when in fact he was already half a world away.
But the president has made American support for Ukraine the centerpiece of his argument for a revitalized alliance in Europe, and he had told advisers that he wanted to mark the first anniversary of the invasion as a way of reassuring allies that his administration remains committed.
Mr. Biden arrived in Ukraine’s capital at a pivotal moment of the war, both at home and abroad. Some of America’s staunchest allies have pressed Ukraine to begin negotiating a peace deal that might involve giving up territory to Russia. And in the United States, the newly installed House speaker, Kevin McCarthy, and some of his fellow Republican lawmakers have demanded an end to what they call “a blank check” for the war effort.
Mr. Biden’s surprise visit came just a day before a scheduled speech by President Vladimir V. Putin on Tuesday in which the Russian leader is expected to speak about his country’s war effort amid indications that a spring offensive in Ukraine is already underway.
Mr. Biden had been scheduled to meet with President Andrzej Duda of Poland on Tuesday morning and deliver a speech from the Warsaw Castle later that afternoon — creating a split-screen image of Mr. Biden and Mr. Putin each speaking about Ukraine on the same day. It was unclear whether his schedule would change because of the visit to Kyiv.