Has Russia guaranteed Biden’s safety during surprise visit to Ukraine?


Russia guaranteed Joe Biden’s safety ahead of his surprise visit to Kiev on February 20, 2023.




While the US informed Russia of Biden’s trip to Ukraine “a few hours before” Biden’s departure, officials in both countries deny any deal was reached.

On February 20, 2023, US President Joe Biden paid a surprise visit to Kiev days before the one-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine reported from The Associated Press:

Biden spent more than five hours in the Ukrainian capital, consulting with Zelenskyy on next steps, honoring the country’s fallen soldiers and visiting US Embassy staff in the besieged country. In total, he was on Ukrainian territory for about 23 hours, traveling back by train to and from Poland.

Following the visit, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan attended a press conference. He was asked by CBS news reporter Nancy Cordes, if the US “had given the Russians some sort of advance warning that the President would be in Kiev.” In response to this question, Sullivan confirmed that the US notified the Kremlin at the last minute:

We informed the Russians that President Biden will travel to Kiev. We did this a few hours before he left to resolve conflicts.

And because of the sensitive nature of these communications, I will not elaborate on how they responded or what the exact nature of our message was, but I can confirm that we did deliver that notification.

That disclosure prompted long-time Putin ally, former Russian Prime Minister and current Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev, to make a remark covered by the Russian state news service TASS that Russia had given Biden security guarantees before his arrival in Kiev. “Biden, having previously received security guarantees, eventually went to Kiev,” Medvedev wrote on Telegram.

This claim was quickly repeated and spread, after to the independent from other propagandists in Russia. In a press conference the following day, February 21, Voice of America reporter Patsy Widakuswara asked Sullivan if the US received any security guarantees when the US briefed the Russians on Biden’s trip. In Answerhe said that no such agreement had been reached:

They did not respond except to acknowledge receipt of the notification. So there was no exchange. It was just a notification and acknowledgment of receipt. … We submitted this information. They acknowledged receipt. End of the story.

On the same day, Russia’s security service FSB apparently confirmed that there had been no agreement on Biden’s security. As covered from TASS:

Russia did not give US President Joe Biden any security guarantees during his visit to Kiev, FSB director Alexander Bortnikov said on Tuesday [Feb. 21].

“Indeed, the United States informed Russia about Biden’s visit to Kiev — through diplomatic channels. But we didn’t give any guarantees about his safety,” he said in an interview with Shot Telegram.

With both the head of Russia’s FSB and Biden’s national security adviser denying a deal was reached, Snopes dismissed the claim as “false.”


“Biden Received No Security Guarantees from Russia During Kyiv Visit – FSB Director.” TASS, accessed February 21, 2023.

“Medvedev Says Biden Received Security Guarantees Before Going to Kyiv.” TASS, accessed February 21, 2023.

“Apparent press call from National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.” The White House, February 21, 2023,

“Apparent press call from senior administration officials regarding President Biden’s trip to Ukraine.” The White House, February 20, 2023,

Propagandists claim Russia offered Biden “security guarantee” for the trip to Kiev. www.independent.co.uk, accessed 21 February 2023.

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/russia-biden-safety/ Has Russia guaranteed Biden’s safety during surprise visit to Ukraine?

Brian Ashcraft

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