(NewsGlobal.com)- Earlier this week, President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine, where he met with the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky.
According to sources, the presidents met with each other for several hours in Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv, in Mariinsky Palace, where Zelensky stays. Biden’s visit nearly marked the one-year anniversary of Russia invading Ukraine and trying to take over the country’s capital.
While the two world leaders were meeting, air-raid sirens were blaring in the background.
The Associated Press reported that Biden said during his visit:
“One year later, Kyiv stands. And Ukraine stands. Democracy stands. The Americans stand with you, and the world stands with you.”
While stopping in Kyiv, Biden announced that the United States would be sending an additional $500 million in assistance to Ukraine. That also included anti-tank missiles, radars for air surveillance and howitzer shells. However, it won’t include any advanced weaponry that the U.S. hasn’t already sent.
Zelensky told reporters that his negotiations with Biden “were very fruitful,” in terms of the extra aid he was trying to get for his country.
“I thought it was critical that there not be any doubt, none whatsoever, about U.S. support for Ukraine in the war. The cost that Ukraine has had to bear has been extraordinarily high, and the sacrifices have been far too great.
“We know that there’ll be very difficult days and weeks and years ahead. But, Russia’s aim was to wipe Ukraine off the map. Putin’s war of conquest is failing.”
In making a reference to Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, Biden continued:
“He’s counting on us not sticking together. He thought he could outlast us. I don’t think he’s thinking that right now. God knows what he’s thinking, but I don’t think he’s thinking that. But, he’s just been plain wrong, plain wrong.”
The AP reported that before Biden went to Ukraine, he stopped first in Germany at the Ramstein Air Base. Then, he left there to meet with Zelensky.
While the trip was a surprise to many, it apparently was not a surprise to Russia.
On Monday, the White House Security Council said that hours before Biden traveled to Ukraine, U.S. officials reached out to Russia to tell them about it. Many U.S. officials in national security said the trip was unprecedented since the U.S. military doesn’t have infrastructure stationed in the country.
During a briefing with reporters on Monday, Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, was pressed about whether the White House gave Russia a heads-up. He responded:
“We did notify the Russians that President Biden would be traveling to Kyiv. We did so some hours before his departure for deconfliction purposes.”
Sullivan didn’t say how they notified Russia about Biden’s trip, whether Russia responded to the warning, or whether they took it kindly or not. What he did say is that Biden’s trip was an “affirmation” of the White House’s commitment to Ukraine.