“The United States is back,” the President Joe Biden upon his arrival in the United Kingdom, the first leg of a European tour in which he must announce that his country will donate 500 million Pfizer vaccines against covid to other nations.
We are going to make it clear that the United States is back and that the world’s democracies are united to face the toughest challenges, “he said in a speech to American troops stationed at the British Mildenhall airbase, where the presidential Airplane had landed shortly before. Force One from Washington.
Making a firm defense of the democracy versus autocracy, and a call for consensus and collaboration, he stated that he was “committed to leading with strength, defending our values and fulfilling our people.”
And warned Russia that although the United States not seeking conflict will respond firmly against any type of attack.
At the climax of this first trip, Biden is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next Wednesday in Geneva.
But first, he will hold a bilateral meeting this Thursday with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The two leaders plan to agree at their first meeting on a new “Atlantic Charter”, modeled after the one signed by their predecessors Roosevelt and Churchill, taking into account the threat of cyberattacks and global warming, Downing Street said.
Later will participate from Friday to Sunday at the G7 summit in Cornwall, in the southwest of England, where climate change and the covid-19 pandemic will be some of the priorities.
As reported by the New York Times and the Washington Post on Wednesday, the president must announce there that the United States will buy 500 million doses of the vaccine against covid-19 from Pfizer / BioNTech to deliver them to other countries.
Much criticized for its delay in sharing its vaccines with the rest of the world, the White House is now trying to take the lead in this matter.
The United States is committed to working on international immunization with the same sense of urgency that we have shown at home, “Biden said before leaving Washington.
Queen Elizabeth and Putin
After the G7, Biden will be received Sunday by Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle.
The tenant of the White House will then go to Brussels and hold numerous bilateral meetings.
My trip to Europe is an opportunity for the United States to mobilize the world’s democracies, “said the man who, since coming to power, insists on his desire to be fully involved in world affairs.
However, after the mandate of Donald Trump, Allies “will receive these reassuring words with a bit of skepticism,” says Suzanne Maloney of the Washington-based Brookings think tank.
Biden’s willingness to reconnect with them will have to overcome not only the scars of the past four years, but also lingering questions about the health of American democracy, “he writes.
The purpose of the trip is “to make it clear to Putin and China that Europe and the United States are close allies,” said the 78-year-old president on this demanding eight-day trip.
He has been preparing for it for 50 years, “said his spokesperson, Jen Psaki, alluding to the long political career of the president, who first entered the Senate in 1972.” He has known some of those leaders, including President Putin, since decades ago, “he added.
With issues such as Ukraine, Belarus, the fate of the jailed Russian opponent Alexei Navalni and cyber attacks, the debates are expected to be tough and difficult.
Cybersecurity will be “a matter of our discussion,” Biden said.
The White House, which alternates conciliatory messages and warnings, insists that its expectations are modest. The only advanced goal is to make relations between the two countries more “stable and predictable.”
The problem is that Putin doesn’t necessarily want a more stable and predictable relationship, “says Alexander Vershbow, a former US diplomat and former NATO number two.
The presidency American gave few details on the development of the face to face with the Russian president. He only hinted that, unlike what happened with Trump in Helsinki in 2018, a joint press conference between the two was not on the agenda.
On a lighter subject, before boarding Biden called on reporters present to “pay attention to cicadas,” the insects that currently invade the United States, after one of them landed just on his elbow seconds before.
The day before, another plane that had to transport White House reporters covering the tour delayed its takeoff, because a cloud of cicadas had invaded its engines.