Biden in Europe on Wednesday to reassure allies and confront Putin

(Washington) G7, NATO, EU, then Vladimir Putin: US President Joe Biden flies to Europe on Wednesday with a dual purpose: Promise to allies and send warning to Russia.


Jerome Cordillere
France Media Agency

Symbolism is strong: for his first foreign trip, 46e The 78-year-old president of the United States has chosen to respect the strained Atlantic relations under President Trump.

“My journey to Europe is an opportunity to mobilize democracies around the world,” he wrote, pointing to him as a central player who puts forward an ideological position against “authoritarianism”. “China is in the lead.

He stressed that the United States, which has been determined to play a key role in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic and the fight against climate change since coming to the White House, has returned to the multilateral table.

But beyond a real relief after years of stumbling blocks and inventions, a kind of impatience is being observed on the European side.

According to Benjamin Hatt, a particular “disappointment” is evident from the Atlantic Council think tank, if the tone is too constructive.

“We talk a lot about” America is back, “and there is a positive rhetoric, but now we need to take action,” he told AFP.

The distribution of American vaccines to other countries has been delayed for many. Washington’s mutual deficit has frightened people since the EU’s decision to reopen its doors to American travelers. The manner in which the withdrawal from Afghanistan was announced, without any real prior advice, was not appreciated in the European capitals.

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Economic factors linked to priorities at the beginning of the mandate illustrate this situation. But the reasons are also profound. “Basically, Europe is much lower in US foreign policy than it was 20 or 30 years ago,” the French researcher recalled.

Allied “suspicions”

In addition, the hurricane millionaire’s order, among other things, described NATO as “obsolete”, leaving no trace.

“Allies are still skeptical, and keep in mind the forces that brought Trump to power in 2016,” said US Ambassador Alexander Wershbo, the former No. 2 in the Atlantic Alliance.

Joe Biden is expected to attend the G7 summit (Germany, Canada, USA, France, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom) after a face-to-face meeting with the British Prime Minister on Wednesday evening in Cornwall, southwest England. Minister Boris Johnson.

On Sunday, he will meet Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle with First Lady Jill Biden.

Lyndon b. With the exception of Johnson, the King has met with all the American presidents who served during his 69-year reign.

Joe Biden will then fly to the Air Force One for Brussels (NATO Leaders Summit then EU / US Summit), ending his eight-day trip to Geneva with Vladimir Putin at the much-anticipated summit.

The fate of imprisoned Russian opponent Alexei Navalny in Ukraine, Belarus, Cypradox: Promises that the debate will be bitter and difficult.

The White House, which adapts to compliant news and warnings, insists it has modest expectations. The sole purpose put forward is to make the relationship between the two countries more “stable and predictable”.

Remembers Helsinki

The presidency of the United States gave very little detail about the conduct of this date-e-date, only suggesting that a joint press conference between the two was not on the agenda.

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The incident between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki in July 2018 is still on everyone’s mind in Washington.

In a bizarre exercise that has caused a stir even in his own camp, the tumultuous president seems to have valued the words of the former KGB strongman more than the unanimous decision of US intelligence agencies about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election campaign. .

The Biden team confirms that the tone will be very different this time around.

“We do not see the latter as a reward for meeting with the Russian president,” said National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. The main reason for this summit? “President Putin can look him in the eye and tell him: these are American expectations.”

“Dialogue with Russia is not a sign of weakness,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg insisted after meeting with the US president at the Oval Office on Monday.

In the carefully danced scene, two days before leaving Washington, Joe Biden invited his Ukrainian rival, Volodymyr Zhelensky, to visit him at the White House in the summer.

As for the city of Geneva, the meeting will have a special flavor: in 1985, it hosted a summit between US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

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