Published: Thu, June 10, 2021
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Biden heads to Europe for first foreign visit as president

Biden heads to Europe for first foreign visit as president

He is expected to strengthen ties with European allies during an eight-day trip.

Biden will begin the first foreign trip of his presidency later this week. During meetings and conversations with world leaders, President Biden will stress the importance of working with allies to confront challenges presented by Russian Federation and China.

Expectations for the Putin summit are so low that simply making US-Russian relations "more stable" would be considered a success, Blinken and other White House officials say.

Biden will have to work to convince European partners that he is to be depended on.

Biden will depart for Europe on Wednesday and be making his first stop across the pond in the United Kingdom.

A date-e-date is scheduled for Thursday, June 10, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Biden is expected to meet with other world leaders at the G7 summit as well.

A day later, he will express his commitment to European allies at a meeting between the USA and the European Union (EU), which will focus on protecting the global health system, stimulating economic recovery and the fight against climate change. It comes at a moment when Europeans have diminished expectations for what they can expect of US leadership on the foreign stage.

Central and Eastern Europeans hope to tie the USA more closely to their security. Trump threatened to pull US troops out of Germany, and focused most of his attention on getting North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member nations to pay a greater share of the alliance's costs. France, however, believes that the European Union must be more independent in the future.

Building toward his trip-ending summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Biden will aim to reassure European capitals that the United States can once again be counted on as a dependable partner to thwart Moscow's aggression both on their eastern front and their internet battlefields. The charge accuses Russian hackers of spreading hostile messages through code amongst broadly-used software, which gave them access to at least nine USA agencies.

Russian Federation has rejected any violations, arguing that a few restrictions on observation flights it imposed in the past were permissible under the treaty and noted that the US imposed more sweeping restrictions on observation flights over Alaska.

Donald Trump often praised Putin, despite his own intelligence agencies assessment that Moscow was behind cyber-espionage and election meddling. On climate change, the aiming to regain its credibility after Trump pulled the country back from the fight against global warming. Biden's ramping up of vaccine donations around the world also follows what critics saw as a long period of hoarding.

Another central focus will be China.

He said he will provide a coronavirus vaccination strategy to the world. The program is meant to compete directly with China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Biden will also press Putin about saber-rattling on the Ukrainian border, the imprisonment of opponent Alexei Navalny, and his support for Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarussian strongman who forced a Ryanair airliner to land in Minsk, then arrested an opponent on the flight.

Biden is also expected to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan while in Brussels, Belgium.

But EU leaders have kept a more cautious, open approach to China in recent years and struck a significant investment deal with Beijing in December.

In his first three summits, Biden can at least be assured of a friendly audience.

However the Biden-Putin meeting goes, it is unlikely to end with the kind of performance Trump put on in 2018 after meeting the Kremlin leader in Helsinki.

Richard Haass is president of the Council on Foreign Relations, a research group in Washington D.C. He told the Associated Press, "By and large, these are not meetings on outcomes, these are "get to know you again" meetings for the US and Europe".

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