WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden by all accounts was having a quiet weekend on the White Home, becoming a member of his spouse Jill Biden for dinner at a restaurant on a uncommon outing in Washington on Saturday.
However behind the scenes, officers on the White Home and different businesses have been planning intensively for Biden to make an unannounced journey to Kyiv to indicate solidarity with Ukraine days earlier than the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion.
After months of planning, Biden on Friday determined to go forward with the journey, in accordance with the White Home.
White Home officers mentioned Biden was taken to Joint Base Andrews exterior of Washington and departed at 4:15 a.m. (0915 GMT) on Sunday aboard an Air Pressure jet, accompanied by a handful of aides. A scaled-back information media presence went together with him: only one reporter and a photographer as a substitute of his standard media pool.
The president flew in a single day to the US’ Ramstein Air Base in Germany. The airplane was refueled and he flew on to Rzeszow in southeastern Poland. After a one-hour drive, he arrived in Przemysl, a metropolis alongside the Poland-Ukraine border.
Biden then boarded a prepare and traveled 10 hours to Kyiv. By then it was Sunday night time, and Biden’s prepare traveled in the dead of night with a heavy safety presence on board.
The prepare got here to a cease on the Kyiv-Pasazhyrsky station within the Ukrainian capital at roughly 8 a.m. native time (0600 GMT) on Monday. The world across the platform had been cleared and the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, awaited Biden and his workers.
“It is good to be again in Kyiv,” Biden mentioned after stepping off the prepare.
U.S. nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan, who accompanied the president, mentioned U.S. officers did notify Russian officers that Biden can be touring to Kyiv. “We did so some hours earlier than his departure for deconfliction functions,” he instructed reporters on a convention name, lining to offer extra particulars.
Sullivan mentioned the journey had “required a safety, operational, and logistical effort from professionals throughout the U.S. authorities to take what was an inherently dangerous enterprise and make it a manageable degree of threat.”
Residents of Kyiv stay underneath the fixed menace of Russian missile and drone assaults.
After his go to, Biden obtained again on the prepare for the journey to Przemysl. After arriving there, he made his technique to Warsaw.
(This story has been refiled to delete the penultimate paragraph that had an extraneous reference to Sullivan)