President Biden is on his first overseas trip since taking office. The president landed in the United Kingdom on Wednesday evening, and is set to meet with a number of European allies, participate in the G-7 and NATO summits, and participate in a high-stakes, in-person meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“This trip is about realizing America’s renewed commitment to our allies and partners,” Biden wrote in an op-ed previewing his trip in The Washington Post over the weekend. “Whether it is ending the COVID-19 pandemic everywhere, meeting the demands of an accelerating climate crisis, or confronting the harmful activities of the governments of China and Russia, the United States must lead the world from a position of strength.”
The trip is aimed at “making clear to Putin and to China that Europe and the United States are tight,” he told reporters before Air Force One departed Wednesday.
On China, the president is set to direct his focus on competitiveness in the marketplace, and the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. The president, last month, said U.S. intelligence officials had coalesced around two “likely scenarios” for the origin of the pandemic — zoonotic transmission or a leak from a laboratory in Wuhan. Biden gave the intelligence community 90 days for additional review to get to the bottom of how the pandemic began.
The president, in his op-ed, said that the world’s major democracies should invest in infrastructure to provide a “high-standard alternative to China for upgrading physical, digital and health infrastructure that is more resilient and supports global development.”
The Biden administration has warned that China “has rapidly become more assertive” and “is the only competitor potentially capable of combining its economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to mount a sustained challenge to a stable and open international system.”
“As new technologies reshape our world in fundamental ways, exposing vulnerabilities like ransomware attacks and creating threats such as invasive AI-driven surveillance, the democracies of the world must together ensure that our values govern the use and development of these innovations – not the interests of autocrats,” Biden wrote.
BIDEN TO FACE GLOBAL CHALLENGES FROM CHINA, RUSSIA AS HE DEPARTS FOR FIRST FOREIGN TRIP
Here’s what you need to know about the president’s trip:
What is Biden’s schedule in Europe?
Thursday, June 10
The president is set to receive the Presidential Daily Briefing before heading to Carbis Bay with the first lady to meet with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Mrs. Carrie Johnson, ahead of a bilateral meeting with the prime minster.
Later Thursday, the president is set to deliver remarks on the COVID-19 vaccination program, and the global effort to defeat COVID-19 from Tregenna Castle, St. Ives.
Friday, June 11
On Friday, the president will be officially welcomed by Johnson to participate in the a session of the G-7 summit, focused on “Recovery for All.”
The White House has said that the president will work with allies during the G-7 summit to discuss ways to combat the coronavirus pandemic, including a global COVID-19 vaccination program, and ways to help stimulate the global economy after international lockdowns amid the pandemic.
The first portion of the G-7 will be followed by a reception with G-7 leaders and the Royal Family.
Saturday, June 12
The president is set to participate in the second session of the G-7 summit, titled “Building Back Resilient,” followed by the session focused on “Foreign Policy,” and the fourth session focused on “Health.”
Sunday, June 13
The president is set to participate in the “Open Societies & Economies” session of the G-7 on Sunday, followed by the session focused on “Climate.”
At the conclusion of the G-7 sessions, the president is expected to hold a press conference, before joining Queen Elizabeth II with the first lady at Windsor Castle.
Sunday afternoon, the president, first lady and the Queen will participate in the greeting and arrival ceremony, followed by a private meeting with the Queen.
Later Sunday, the president will travel to Belgium, ahead of the NATO summit, and the first lady will travel back to the United States.
Sunday night, the president is set to arrive in Belgium, and will participate in an arrival ceremony at Brussels airport.
Monday, June 14
The president is set to meet with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, ahead of the NATO summit.
The president is set to deliver remarks on Belgium, and then will participate in NATO meetings.
Later in the day, the president will take part in a bilateral meeting with Turkish Prime Minster Erdogan, and later, is expected to hold a press conference at NATO headquarters.
Tuesday, June 15
The president is set to have a call with King Phillipe and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo, before heading to the European Council, where he will attend the E.U. Summit.
The president is set to participate in expanded bilateral meetings with E.U. and E.U. Commission presidents at the E.U. Council.
Later, the president is set to travel to Geneva, Switzerland, where he will first, meet with Swiss President Guy Parmelin.
Wednesday, June 16
The president is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, for their high-stakes meeting in Geneva.
Biden and Putin are expected to discuss a range of issues, including Iran and North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, Syria, the Arctic, strategic stability, arms control, climate change, COVID-19 and more.
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The U.S. and Russia have long competed on a global scale, and where the U.S. exceeds Russian capabilities, as in the case with the U.S. military, Putin has relied on other factors to bolster Russian dominance – including cyber-strikes.
Meanwhile, Biden and Putin are also expected to again discuss the intent of the U.S. and Russia to pursue a “strategic stability dialogue on a range of arms control and emerging security issues” to build on the extension of the New START Treaty, according to the White House. The START Treaty places verifiable limits on all Russian deployed intercontinental-range nuclear weapons. The treaty began on Feb. 5, 2011, and according to the State Department, the U.S. and the Russian Federation have agreed to extend it through Feb. 4, 2026.
Biden also expected to raise the issue of Russia-based ransomware attacks with Putin during their summit on June 16 in Geneva.