Biden aims to rally allies' support in first foreign trip
Jun 10 2021
U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said at a White House briefing that Biden told Zelensky that he "looks forward to welcoming him to the White House here in Washington this summer".
He will then travel to Brussels, Belgium to participate in the NATO Summit, and his meeting with Putin is scheduled on June 16 in Geneva, Switzerland.
In the Axios interview, Zelenskiy, a professional comedian who was elected president in 2019, said he was surprised and disappointed that Biden had not done more to prevent development of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russian Federation to Germany, which is seen by Kyiv as a Kremlin project to eliminate it from the European gas transit system.
And the USA increasing its donations of Covid vaccines around the world follows what many in Europe considered a long period of hoarding them for Americans.
The week-plus journey is a big moment for Biden, who traveled the world for decades as vice president and as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and will now step off Air Force One onto global soil as commander in chief.
Biden has irked Erdogan, a sometimes Trump ally, by highlighting Turkey's dire human rights situation and recognizing the Ottoman Empire's genocide against the Armenians.
In his first three summits, Biden can at least be assured of a friendly audience.
The list of tensions, however, is far longer. White House officials have been critical of Russia's interference in USA elections and links to cyberattacks.
In this image made from video provided by the Babuskinsky District Court, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny stands in a cage during a hearing on his charges for defamation, in the Babuskinsky District Court in Moscow, Russia, Friday, February 5, 2021.
This combination of pictures created on June 07, 2021 shows Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Moscow and President Joe Biden in Wilmington, Delaware.
Sullivan said the talks with Erdogan would be expansive, covering the eastern Mediterranean, Syria and Afghanistan as well as how to deal with the differences that have arisen between the two countries.
President Nixon who flew in to meet Prime Minister Harold Wilson in 1969.
For all his tough talk, Biden faces limitations, as illustrated in the USA decision to drop sanctions meant to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, now set to feed Germany with Russian natural gas. The face-to-face meeting will take place in Geneva, with expected discussions including nuclear proliferation, the COVID-19 outbreak and the recent rise in cyberattacks.
This time, the idea of a joint Biden-Putin press conference itself is up in the air. Sullivan told reporters Biden will also "reinforce the importance of burden-sharing". "I certainly hope my Russian counterparts make President Putin available".