Biden expresses 'disappointment' that 'they will not let me' visit Ukraine

President Biden
(Image credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

President Biden on Friday expressed disappointment he was unable to include a visit into Ukraine as part of his European trip amid Russia's invasion.

Biden addressed U.S. troops stationed in Poland on Friday, and during a roundtable conversation about the humanitarian crisis the war in Ukraine has caused, he suggested he wanted to visit Ukraine but was unable to do so due to security concerns, CNN reports.

"Quite frankly, part of my disappointment is that I can't see it firsthand like I have in other places," Biden said. "They will not let me, understandably, I guess, cross the border and take a look at what's going on in Ukraine."

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There had been questions ahead of Biden's trip to Europe as to whether he might visit Ukraine. But White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that while Biden's trip "will be focused on continuing to rally the world in support of the Ukrainian people and against President Putin's invasion of Ukraine," there were "no plans to travel into Ukraine."

While speaking to U.S. troops, Biden said the world is at an "inflection point," and the stakes of the conflict include whether democracy or autocracy is "going to prevail." He also appeared the suggest the troops might be going into Ukraine, telling them about what they are "going to see when you're there." A White House spokesperson later clarified to The Independent's Andrew Feinberg, "The president has been clear we are not sending U.S. troops to Ukraine and there is no change in that position."

According to NBC News, Biden is set to meet with Ukrainian refugees and deliver an address on the state of the war before returning to Washington.

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.