France says coordination with European partners “continues unabated regarding the war in Ukraine”
US President Joe Biden will seek to emphasize unity during his trip to Europe this week, and there will be a set of “deliverables” afterwards, according to the White House.
But Biden aides have never considered stopping in Ukraine, and the president still opposes sending US troops to the country.
Speaking two days before Biden’s departure for high-stakes summits in Brussels, followed by a stopover in Poland, press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden hoped to highlight Western cooperation on his trip.
“Coming out of this, what the president hopes to achieve is continued coordination and a unified response to President Putin’s continued escalating actions,” she said.
“There will definitely be deliverables, as there always are on these trips,” Psaki said.
PSAki said details of Biden’s stoppage in Poland are still being worked out, but he hopes to highlight the work of the country hosting millions of refugees from Ukraine.
Asked by Phil Mattingly about Poland’s proposal for an international peacekeeping force in Ukraine, Psaki suggested such a move could cross Biden’s line of putting US troops in direct conflict with Russia.
“We will of course continue to work with Poland and other allies and partners in Europe to support the Ukrainian people and help them defend their country against Russian aggression and bring relief to the Ukrainian people and we will continue to impose severe consequences,” she said.
“President, it has been made clear that we will not be sending American troops to fight Russian troops. It is not in the interests of the American people or our national security, but we will continue to discuss a series ideas, including this one,” she said.
A number of Ukrainian leaders have called on Biden to visit Ukraine as part of his trip. But PSAKI said that option was never considered.
“We haven’t explored that option,” she said, citing security considerations and the “enormous amount of resources” it would require.
She said Biden would have the “most effective and impactful” trip convening NATO and G7 meetings to discuss continued humanitarian and economic aid.
“It was a decision made about what would be most effective during the trip,” she said.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will travel to Brussels this week to accompany President Biden in meetings with “NATO allies, G7 leaders and European Union leaders,” the spokesperson said on Monday. Pentagon spokesman John Kibry during a briefing at the Pentagon.
The leaders “will discuss international efforts to continue to support Ukraine and impose severe and unprecedented costs on Russia for its unprovoked and unlawful invasion,” Kirby said.
Austin will also accompany Biden to Poland after Brussels, Kirby said.
Read more about Biden’s European trip here: