Almost five months after coming to power, Joe Biden flew to the United Kingdom on Wednesday 9 June, the first stop on a European tour, during which he intends to insist on the firmness of the transatlantic alliance with a view to his face-to-face with Vladimir Poutine, which will take place in Geneva on June 16.
Just before take off on board the plane Air Force One, the American president assured that the purpose of his trip was to let people know “Clearly to Putin and China that the United States and Europe [étaient] welded “. First stop of the tour: Mildenhall base, in the east of the United Kingdom, where the President will speak Wednesday evening in front of members of the US Air Force.
A tête-à-tête with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is scheduled for Thursday, June 10. Accompanied by his wife, Jill Biden, the Democratic leader will participate from Friday to Sunday at the G7 summit in Cornwall (south-west of England), during which the Covid-19 pandemic and the climate will be among the priorities.
“My trip to Europe is an opportunity for America to mobilize democracies around the world”, assured the one who claims since coming to power that, despite the orientations of his predecessor, Donald Trump, the United States is back (« America is back ») and intend to become fully involved in world affairs.
Before joining Brussels, to participate in the NATO summit, Joe Biden will visit on Sunday June 13 Queen Elizabeth II – who has reigned for sixty-nine years – at Windsor Castle.
Difficult talks ahead with Putin
Also on the tarmac at the Andrews military base, in the suburbs of Washington, Joe Biden added that he planned to unveil a global vaccine strategy soon. Strongly criticized for having delayed in sharing its vaccines against Covid-19 with the rest of the world, the White House is now trying to take the lead on this issue. “The United States is determined to work on international vaccination with the same sense of urgency that we have shown in our country”, insists the American president.
Washington has just announced that 75% of the 80 million doses of vaccines promised to foreign countries by the end of June will be distributed through the Covax sharing device. The latter was set up to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to low-income countries.
The summit scheduled for Wednesday, June 16 in Geneva, Switzerland, with Vladimir Putin will be the culmination of this first trip, which comes at a time when Joe Biden is in difficulty in his country, against a backdrop of tensions within his own camp. Ukraine; Belarus; fate of the imprisoned Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny; cyberattacks: the discussions promise to be bitter and difficult, especially on this last point. The question “ cyber » will be “A subject of our discussion”, Joe Biden assured Wednesday before his departure.
Regarding Russia, the White House, which alternates conciliatory messages and warnings, repeats that it has modest expectations. The only objective put forward: to make relations between the two countries more “Stable and predictable”.
The American presidency has given few details as to the conduct of this tête-à-tête. She only hinted that, unlike what happened with Donald Trump in Helsinki in 2018, a joint press conference between the two men was not on the agenda.