On the eve of his trip to Ukraine, US President Joe Biden was offered several options where he could meet with Volodymyr Zelensky. About how the visit of the American leader was being prepared, Rolling Stone writes, citing an unnamed senior White House official.
As a meeting place for Biden and Zelensky, according to the publication, two options were considered: the Polish-Ukrainian border (the exact place is not indicated) and Lviv, which is considered relatively safe.
But in the end, according to a US official, the US president decided to choose Kiev, a city he says “is a symbol of Ukraine’s determination after Russian troops tried and failed to capture it at the start of last year’s all-out war.”
Preparations for Biden’s visit to the Ukrainian capital took about a week, Politico reports, citing a source in the Ukrainian government. According to the interlocutor of the publication, the trip was prepared “in a very short time”, “with the strictest secrecy” through the communication channels of the head of the office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak and Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba.
In turn, CNN reported that Biden’s Air Force One plane took off from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland “under cover of darkness” at 4:14 am Sunday morning EST. American journalists accompanying the president were not allowed to take recording devices on board the plane. Accompanying Biden on the trip were National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jen O’Malley Dillon and personal assistant Annie Tomasini.
According to The New York Times, Biden’s plane landed in Poland, and from there the US President went by train to Kyiv.
In the capital of Ukraine, Joe Biden met with Vladimir Zelensky. During the meeting, the US president announced new shipments of “critical equipment” including artillery ammunition, anti-tank and air defense systems, as well as sanctions against elites and companies that try to evade or support the Russian defense industry.
Zelensky flew to Washington in December last year on a US Air Force plane from Poland. They met with Biden on the evening of December 21. The President of the United States called Zelensky a “great leader” and congratulated him on being recently named “Person of the Year” by Time magazine. Zelensky responded in English by thanking Biden for “support and leadership,” emphasizing that he was especially grateful for leadership, and also expressed gratitude on behalf of “all Ukrainians” to the US President, Congress, and “ordinary people in the United States.”
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