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Tags: joe biden | jill biden | ukraine | first lady | trip

Biden Under Pressure to Visit Ukraine After First Lady's Trip

president joe biden and first lady jill biden host a reception at the rose garden
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden (Saul Loeb/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 13 May 2022 10:14 AM

First lady Jill Biden made an unannounced trip to Ukraine this week amid the ongoing invasion by Russia, a move that brought attention to President Joe Biden's lack of a visit to Ukraine since the start of the war.

The Hill notes that the leaders of some of Ukraine's largest allies in the war — the U.S., France and Germany — have yet to visit the country since the invasion began. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the country in April, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau traveled to Ukraine this week to mark the reopening of the Canadian embassy along with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The Hill notes that several high-ranking American politicians and government officials have traveled to Ukraine since the start of the invasion, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki, when asked if the first lady's trip will influence whether or not President Biden goes to Ukraine.

"Their travel is a little bit different – I think you all know from traveling with the president," Psaki said. "But there's not a trip currently planned. But, again, he would love to go to Ukraine."

The Hill notes that while sitting presidents have visited conflict areas in the past, they typically only travel to U.S. military bases in those regions. There are currently no U.S. military bases or troops in Ukraine.

"It certainly would be a tremendous thing for President Biden to go over there. However, we have to remember that he is the commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces. If he were to be attacked when he was over there, that would be an attack on the United States, and that would invite a response, which could escalate this beyond any point that we would want to," said Todd Belt, a professor and the director of political management at George Washington University.

Presidency scholar MaryAnne Borrelli of Connecticut College added that the first lady's trip "is a meeting of a very highly ranked, distinctive, representative of the presidency of the United States with another very highly ranked, distinctive representative of Ukraine. The foundational point is that she's sent because she matters and because the message that she delivers is very complex and very affirming of the United States and of Ukraine."

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Newsfront
First lady Jill Biden made an unannounced trip to Ukraine this week amid the ongoing invasion by Russia, a move that brought attention to President Joe Biden's lack of a visit to Ukraine since the start of the war.
joe biden, jill biden, ukraine, first lady, trip
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2022-14-13
Friday, 13 May 2022 10:14 AM
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