Republicans asked President Joe Biden not to travel to Ukraine’s capital Kyiv or at least one high-level diplomat to the city amid a surprise visit by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson this weekend amid Russia’s invasion of the eastern European nation. Later, he was targeted for sending to the city.
Johnson met directly with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Saturday, with videos and photos of the two leaders walking through the Ukrainian city widely circulated on social media. Ukrainian politicians have called on leaders of other Western democracies to make a similar visit in support of the internationally condemned aggression of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Several prominent Republicans drew comparisons between Johnson and Biden, suggesting the US administration was not showing the same level of support for Ukraine.
“Boris Johnson went to Kyiv this weekend. Joe Biden went to Delaware on his 32nd weekend off,” Republican National Committee (RNC) President Ronna McDaniel tweeted on Sunday.
“At this point almost every major NATO/EU country has shown strong public support by sending a head of state, legislative delegation, or senior diplomatic official to Kyiv to meet with President Zelensky,” GOP representative Peter Meijer said in a statement on Saturday. Wrote in twitter post. “except US.”
“The British Prime Minister goes to Kyiv to meet Zelensky while the US President rides his bicycle in Delaware. There is something wrong with this picture. When did the land of the free and the home of the brave become a land of cowardice, risk, hatred, and dishonesty ? [sic]Newt Gingrich, former Majority Leader of the Republican House, tweeted.
The RNC Research Twitter account shared a video clip of Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan in an interview on Sunday, saying that there are no current plans for a Biden trip to Kyiv, in an apparent criticism of the administration.
“‘It was quite symbolic to see Prime Minister Boris Johnson walking the streets of Kyiv with President Zelensky. It begs the question: are we going to see President Biden in Kyiv?’
NSA Jake Sullivan: ‘Biden currently has no plans to travel to Kyiv,'” RNC Research tweeted.
Biden traveled to Poland and near the border with Ukraine in late March. However, he told reporters that he was not allowed to enter Ukraine.
“Frankly, part of my disappointment is that I can’t see it the first time, as I have seen elsewhere,” Biden said during his visit to Poland, as Breitbart reported. “They won’t let me, I understand; I think it will cross the border – and take a look at what’s happening in Ukraine.”
Significantly, the situation in Ukraine has changed since Biden’s visit to Poland last month. The Russian military withdrew its troops from Kyiv as Moscow leaders said they would focus their efforts in Ukraine to the east.
Lesia Vasilenko, who serves in Ukraine’s parliament, told GB News on Sunday that “it would be great to see President Joe Biden of the United States in Kyiv in the same way.” He also referred to French President Emmanuel Macron.
“I mean, all the leaders of the world, if they stand side by side with President Zelensky, not afraid of Russian missiles and Russian attacks, they will already be sending a message – not only to Putin, but that Also for Russian soldiers and all Russian army and Russian soldiers,” the MP said.
Ukraine’s parliament member Kira Rudik shared a similar view with Fox News on Sunday. “Of course” she’d like to see Biden go to Kyiv, Rudick said. “It would really be a sign of solidarity – it would be a really bold move,” she said. The politician also pointed out that Johnson’s security team was “advising” him not to travel to the city, yet he came.
As highlighted on the RNC Research Twitter account, the White House said on Sunday that Biden does not plan to visit Kyiv.
“President Biden currently has no plans to travel to Kyiv,” Sullivan told NBC News. meet the Press, “But what I will tell you is that he sits in the Oval Office and the Situation Room on a daily basis, organizing and coordinating the world when it comes to weapons delivery.”
Biden has called Putin a “war criminal” and his administration has implemented tough sanctions targeting the Russian economy as well as the Moscow elite. The US has also rapidly provided Ukraine with billions of dollars in arms and humanitarian aid. Zelensky and other top Ukrainian officials have spoken out in favor of US support, while also calling for more from Western countries.