US President Joe Biden opened the primary overseas trip of his term Wednesday, arriving in Britain with a declaration that the “United States is back.”
Biden, keen to repair relations with European allies that were shaken by his predecessor Donald Trump, is beginning his tour within the UK, where he was scheduled to satisfy Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday.
Most pressing among the challenges facing the US and its allies is that the coronavirus pandemic, with Biden promising that the US would also lead on this matter.
“We have to end COVID-19 not just at home — which we’re doing — but everywhere,” Biden said. According to US media reports, the Biden administration is about to shop for 500 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for international distribution. As with China, the US and its allies are divided on how to handle Russia.
Putin and his government continue to rock the stability of the West with cyberattacks, political meddling and aggressive military maneuvers near Ukraine.
But splits have opened within the Northern Alliance the US and European allies once presented against Russian aggression.
In April, a serious new gas pipeline opened between Russia and Western Europe despite objections from the Biden administration, providing the Kremlin with diplomatic leverage. Putin will likely seek to take advantage of the tensions at Wednesday’s summit.