US President Joe Biden kicks off his first trip to Europe today after being elected head of the White House, where he will meet with European partners and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
“In this moment of global uncertainty, as the world still faces a once-in-a-half pandemic, this journey is about realizing America’s commitment to renewing our relations with allies and partners, and demonstrating the capacity of democracies to “meet the challenges and prevent the threats of this new era,” Biden was quoted as saying by the Washington Post about his diplomatic efforts.
The trip comes at a time when Europeans have significantly lowered expectations of US leadership on the foreign scene.
Central and Eastern Europeans are desperately hoping to strengthen ties with the US. Germany wants to maintain the presence of American troops there so there is no need to build its own. France, meanwhile, on the other hand stresses that the US cannot be trusted as it once was and that the European Union must pursue greater ongoing strategic autonomy.
The president first travels to Britain for a G7 summit, where he will meet with Queen Elizabeth, then stops in Brussels for a NATO summit and a meeting with European Union leaders. The meeting with the Kremlin chief is scheduled for June 16 in Geneva.
The meetings will also be held as part of priority m where they will initially meet with Western leaders to demonstrate Western unity before meeting with Putin in Geneva.
Biden is scheduled to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Brussels, a face-to-face meeting between the two leaders who have had many difficult moments in their relationship over the years.
The journey will have more to do with messages than with specific actions or arrangements. And the main priority for Biden, is to convince the world that his administration is abandoning Trump policies and is closer to the west.