US President Joe Biden will have two stops in Europe after Air Force One lifts off from Joint Base Andrews on Saturday. The first stop will be in Germany for the G7 summit and then a NATO gathering in Spain. For the trip, advisers say he will use it to push the allies to stay the course, declaring that Ukraine must be defended, not only to deter future Russian violence, but also to send a message to the world, namely the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), that the united democracies will not allow autocratic aggression.
When Biden was last in Europe, just weeks after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he was tasked with pulling together an uncertain coalition, startled by Vladimir Putin’s attack, and heartened by Kyiv’s unexpected success in resisting it. But now Biden is back across the Atlantic for two summits with a new mission to keep the continent committed to the cause as the invasion enters a gruelling and bloody war of attrition that could drag on for months and cause continued global economic strain.
In many ways, Biden will have a more difficult job next week.
The war has already begun to slip from international headlines. The president must convince other leaders, whose economies have been battered by surging inflation, to keep sending money and arms to Ukraine, rather than keeping them at home.
According to the White House, the agenda was designed to show support for Ukraine while trying to manage disruptions the war has caused to the global economy, namely energy and food prices. The president plans to once again support Finland and Sweden’s applications to join NATO, while trying to appease Turkey’s opposition. The White House suggested that Biden would also champion a global infrastructure initiative and hinted that more sanctions on Russia may be unveiled.