Biden speaks with Ukrainian president ahead of U.S.-Russia summit

Biden speaks with Ukrainian president ahead of U.S.-Russia summit

Biden speaks with Ukrainian president ahead of U.S.-Russia summit

Biden is embarking on the first overseas trip of his term, and is eager to reassert the United States on the world stage, steadying European allies deeply shaken by his predecessor and pushing democracy as the only bulwark to the rising forces of authoritarianism.

Before boarding Air Force One for Wednesday's flight, Biden told reporters the trip is about making clear to the leaders of China and Russian Federation that the United States and Europe "are tight".

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a bill to withdraw from an worldwide treaty allowing surveillance flights over military facilities, following the USA exit from the pact.

The trip will be far more about messaging than specific actions or deals.

A White House advisory said, "This trip will highlight America's commitment to rallying the world's democracies, coming together to shape the rules of the road for the 21st century, defend our values, and tackle the world's biggest challenges".

Biden's to-do list is ambitious.

In an interview conducted remotely on Friday with the online Axios news site, Zelenskiy implored Biden to meet with him "at any moment at any spot on the planet" prior to the USA president's visit to Geneva, Switzerland. They will also talk about ways to support developing nations and counteract the influence of China.

Biden is the latest of a whole squadron of Presidents to touch down in Mildenhall, including Trump, Bush and Nixon.

Biden will begin the first foreign trip of his presidency later this week. It comes at a moment when Europeans have diminished expectations for what they can expect of US leadership on the foreign stage.

While in Brussels, Biden will also take part in a U.S-EU summit, during which the administration says he will focus on aligning approaches to trade and technology. Germany is looking to see the USA troop presence maintained there so it doesn't need to build up its own.

The busy agenda - with G7, NATO, and European Union summits ahead of the Putin sit-down in Geneva - will see Biden fly the flag for a West he sees at an "inflection point".

His first stop late Wednesday will be an address to USA troops stationed in Britain, and the next day he sits down with British Prime Minster Boris Johnson.

On the sidelines of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels on June 14, Biden is also expected to meet with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, a crucial session between the sparring North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies after Ankara's purchase of Russian defense systems angered Washington and risked driving a wedge within the alliance.

The meetings are a build-up to his face-to-face meeting with Putin in Geneva on Wednesday.

As he left for Europe, Biden told reporters he planned on announcing a vaccine plan for the world. Another, Germany's Angela Merkel, will leave office later this year.

Biden's pitch marks a return to a traditional U.S. worldview after four years during which Donald Trump flirted with autocrats and recast multilateralism as a dirty word.

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.

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