The United States informed Russia about President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit to Kyiv hours before his departure, according to White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan. Sullivan said that the notification was made for “deconfliction purposes,” but he declined to provide further details.
On Monday, Biden made an unannounced visit to Kyiv, Ukraine, as a major show of support days before the Russia’s invasion anniversary. During his visit, Biden committed an additional $500 million in aid and declared that the United States will continue to stand by Ukraine in the conflict.
The White House said that the trip was “logistically complicated and difficult,” requiring a major security, operational, and logistical effort from professionals across the U.S. government. Sullivan noted that the visit was unprecedented in modern times, as the United States military does not control the critical infrastructure in Ukraine.
During the visit, Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy discussed Ukraine’s needs in terms of energy, infrastructure, economic support, and humanitarian needs. Biden also announced the delivery of howitzer shells, anti-tank missiles, and air surveillance radars, but no new advanced weaponry that Kyiv had been requesting.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had renewed his request for fighter jets on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference several days ago. However, the West has been hesitant to send fighter jets into the conflict zone for fear of an escalation that could spill over into NATO-aligned countries and possibly trigger Article 5 of the NATO alliance.