Biden says ‘not likely’ to visit Ukraine on upcoming Europe trip
US President Joe Biden said Monday he will probably not visit Ukraine during a trip to Europe that starts this week.
Biden first said “that depends” when asked if he planned to visit Ukraine.
But then he said “on this trip, not likely,” as he spoke to reporters who pressed him about such a possibility as he strolled on the beach during a long holiday weekend.
Biden is among a shrinking number of major Western leaders who have not yet visited Ukraine to show support against the Russian invasion.
Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron joined the prime ministers of Germany and Italy in visiting Ukraine, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been there twice.
Biden did go as far as Poland, which borders Ukraine to the west, in late March.
Biden is heading to Germany on Saturday for a Group of Seven Summit, then on to Madrid for a meeting of NATO leaders.
He told reporters a visit to Ukraine would depend on “a lot of things, whether or not it causes more difficulties for Ukrainians, whether it distracts from what’s going on.”
Then he said such a trip is unlikely during this tour of Europe.
Biden said he is close contact with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaking to him “almost four times a week.”