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President Biden’s European Tour: Encounters with Royalty and Discussing War

by Sophia Chen
6 comments
President Biden's Europe Tour

President Joe Biden is set to embark on a European trip this Sunday, engaging with three nations that have been strained due to Russia’s incursion into Ukraine.

On reaching London at night, Biden’s itinerary includes a meeting with King Charles III, marking their first interaction since the King’s ascension to the throne. The trip’s highlight is the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, where alliance leaders will deliberate the ongoing war and revise strategies to counter Russian hostilities.

In the final leg of his journey, Biden is scheduled to be in Helsinki on Thursday to applaud the expanding alliance, as Finland joins NATO as the newest member.

President’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, emphasized the tour as a demonstration of Biden’s global leadership.

A snapshot of Biden’s European tour and challenges he might encounter:

London

Upon his Sunday night arrival in London, Biden has a busy schedule of meetings set for Monday.

Former State Department official and leader of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Max Bergmann, commented, “There’s always a lot to talk about with the U.K.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will host Biden at 10 Downing St. Despite the Conservative Party’s faltering poll numbers and Sunak’s upcoming election, he has managed to maintain a close relationship with Biden, marking their sixth meeting since his October assumption of office.

Bergmann described Sunak’s tenure as a welcome change of pace, particularly considering previous worries about Boris Johnson being unpredictable.

Biden’s agenda includes visiting Windsor Castle to meet the King. This meeting is their first since the King’s coronation, which Biden couldn’t attend, and his wife, Jill Biden, attended in his stead. They’re expected to discuss climate change, a shared priority, and ways to finance initiatives to combat this global issue.

Vilnius

In Lithuania’s capital, Biden will spend two days attending the annual NATO summit, participating in meetings, and delivering a speech at Vilnius University.

The Ukrainian conflict has revitalized the alliance, with members supplying military aid to Ukraine to resist Russia’s invasion.

Facing possible questioning from allies, Biden recently defended his controversial decision to supply Ukraine with cluster munitions, asserting its crucial role in the ongoing battle, despite many NATO members banning such weaponry due to its history of causing civilian casualties.

For NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, the summit aims to send a clear message of NATO’s unity against Russian aggression.

Yet, internal rifts persist within NATO, as seen in the blocked membership of Sweden by Turkey and Hungary, despite Finland’s recent inclusion. Moreover, there is disagreement on the speed of inviting Ukraine to join NATO.

However, as Sen. Thom Tillis observes, the alliance, like a large family, may have disagreements but remains united at the end of the day.

Helsinki

Following his stay in Vilnius, Biden will proceed to Helsinki, celebrating Finland’s recent inclusion as NATO’s 31st member, signifying a shift from its traditional neutrality due to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.

Biden’s Helsinki visit will also serve as a reminder of the unresolved membership of Sweden, held up by objections from Turkey and Hungary. While Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson met Biden at the White House recently to push for membership, prospects of resolution in Vilnius appear bleak.

Biden’s visit to Helsinki, referred to as the “U.S.-Nordic Leaders Summit,” starkly contrasts with the last U.S. presidential visit five years ago by Donald Trump. Unlike Trump’s controversial interaction with Putin, Biden seeks to underscore his administration’s firm stance against Moscow and the enhancement of Western defenses.


Brussels-based Big Big News writer Lorne Cook contributed to this report.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about President Biden’s Europe Tour

Where is President Biden heading on his European tour?

President Biden is visiting London, Vilnius, and Helsinki as part of his European tour.

Who will Biden meet during his London visit?

President Biden will meet King Charles III and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during his visit to London.

What is the main event of Biden’s Europe tour?

The main event of President Biden’s tour is the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.

What controversial decision of Biden might be questioned by allies?

Biden’s decision to provide Ukraine with cluster munitions, a type of weapon banned by many NATO members due to its history of causing civilian casualties, might be questioned by allies.

Which country has recently become a NATO member?

Finland has recently become a member of NATO.

What are the unresolved issues within NATO?

Unresolved issues within NATO include the speed of inviting Ukraine to join the alliance and the blocked membership of Sweden by Turkey and Hungary.

How does Biden’s Helsinki visit differ from Trump’s previous visit?

Unlike Trump’s visit, which was marked by controversial interaction with Putin, Biden’s visit will underscore his administration’s firm stance against Moscow and efforts to expand Western defenses.

More about President Biden’s Europe Tour

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6 comments

JohnDoe101 July 9, 2023 - 3:03 am

Finally, some1 stepping up and takin charge!! Godspeed, Mr. President!

Reply
PatriotPeggy July 9, 2023 - 5:31 am

as much as i don’t always agree with Biden, I gotta admit, this move to solidify our alliances is much needed. Russia’s got to know we won’t stand down.

Reply
TrickyTrevor July 9, 2023 - 10:14 am

Gotta say, Helsinki visit will be interesting after Trump’s last time there. Hope it goes better this time round…

Reply
ClimateCrisisCraig July 9, 2023 - 1:43 pm

Good to see climate change being discussed with King Charles. It’s high time leaders take this issue seriously!

Reply
SkepticalSam July 9, 2023 - 4:31 pm

Biden and Sunak’s so-called “close ties”?? hmmm sounds like political fluff to me. we’ll see what comes out of their meeting i guess.

Reply
ProPeacePaula July 9, 2023 - 4:58 pm

Wish there was more talk bout peace, less bout war. This Russia-Ukraine thing’s got me all worried. We need diplomacy, not more weapons!

Reply

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