US President Joe Biden arrives in Cornwall this Wednesday for a long and intense visit to Europe, where he will begin meeting with Western allies and will finish discussions with old rival Russia.
“At this time of global uncertainty, as the world still struggles with a pandemic that occurs once every century, this trip will serve to realize America’s renewed commitment to our allies and to prove the ability of democracies to meet the challenges and stop the threats of this new era,” wrote Biden of his tour, in an opinion piece published in the newspaper The Washington Post.
When he lands in the UK, Biden will descend the plane’s stairs to greet those responsible for the only US Air Force refueling base in Europe at Mildenhall, symbol of the US military presence, which will serve as a motto and inspiration for the summit. NATO on Monday.
Taking advantage of his stay in Brussels, for this summit, the President of the USA will have a private conversation with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Erdogan, leader of a country that also belongs to NATO, but which has not hidden strong differences with Washington, namely when it leans against Moscow for arms deals that worry the Atlantic allies.
In Brussels, Biden will insist on a key that was often played by his predecessor, Donald Trump, urging the allies to invest more in defense, following the line of what he had already been saying when he was still vice president of Barack Obama, but softening the message with the promise that the US is committed to highlighting article five of the treaty, which obliges all members to come to the defense of one of them whenever it is threatened.
NATO will be a good stage for Biden to rehearse the discourse of the need for unity in the face of the growing threats from China and Russia and remembering that this cohesion cannot be compromised by attitudes like those of Turkey.
“The doors have two sides, but they open and close with the same lock,” Biden said in a recent interview, arguing that even partner forums should be places of caution and political mistrust, where solutions must always be shared.
This principle could also be useful for the first of several summits in which you will participate in the visit to Europe, in the G7 (the group of the seven most developed economies on the planet), which begins on Friday in Cornwall, and to which Biden will take his boldest proposal in terms of foreign policy: to create a powerful front of democratic countries to confront the regimes dictatorial and counteract China’s hegemonic and totalitarian temptation.
For this purpose, Biden needs his closest allies, starting with the United Kingdom, whose Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, will meet on Thursday, with an agenda in which the “special relations” between the two countries will take a primary place, leading the two leaders to seek solutions to define the space of this understanding in the geostrategy and, in particular, in the way the British will position themselves in the post-‘Brexit’ era.
Right after the NATO summit, and without leaving Brussels, at the beginning of next week, Biden will meet with the leaders of the European Union (EU), in what appears to be the least relevant item on the agenda of the presidential tour, if we trust the attention given by the American ‘media’ in the days before the trip.
But the meetings with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, will certainly end up making good headlines in the pages of newspapers across the Atlantic, or if China were not one of the topics of conversations.
And, in front of Von der Leyen and Michel, Biden will repeat the message he brought to the G7 and which he made clear in his opinion piece in The Washington Post:
“We will focus on ensuring that market democracies, not China or anyone else, will write the 21st century rules on trade and technology,” Biden wrote of the EU summit, anticipating that he will not gloss over the differences he has. with Brussels on the commercial understandings of the 27 with Beijing.
After a week of summits and bilateral meetings, Biden saved it for the end of the European tour one of the most delicate challenges, in terms of foreign policy, from the beginning of his term: his relationship with the emblematic arch-rival of the United States, Russia.
In a recent television interview, Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “killer” with whom he will meet next Wednesday in Geneva, and to whom he has promised to say, eye to eye, that he will not tolerate “behavior that violates sovereignty of the United States”, after accusing him of having led actions of interference in the US presidential elections.
“President Putin knows that I will not hesitate to respond to future harmful actions,” threatened Biden, referring to the “frank and direct” conversation he wants to have with the Russian leader and in which arms control treaties, Russian missiles aimed at Europe, the threat to Ukraine’s sovereignty or the arrest of the opponent Alexei Navalny will all be troublesome matters.
What will actually be said at this meeting, we may not come to know anytime soon, because US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has already warned that it is not yet certain that there will be a press conference at the end of the Russian-summit. American.