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Biden participates in US-EU summit

Biden calls on foreign leaders to protect against 'phony populism'
01:25

What we covered here

  • US President Joe Biden participated in a US–EU summit in Brussels today, where he underscored his “commitment to a strong transatlantic partnership based on shared interests and values.”
  • Biden also met with the king of Belgium and the Belgian prime minister.
  • The US President is scheduled to hold a highly anticipated summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin tomorrow in Geneva.

Our live coverage has ended. Read more about Biden’s trip here.

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Here's what happened at today's US-EU summit

US President Joe Biden arrived at a summit with European Union leaders that officials said would focus largely on issues of trade.

Biden has yet to roll back Trump-era tariffs on steel and aluminum, but he did help settle a dispute that had dragged on for nearly two decades over subsidies for Boeing and Airbus.

The two sides were expected to announce a resolution of the aircraft dispute, and signal progress on the metal tariffs without formally announcing their suspension quite yet.

Biden is eager to restore transatlantic ties on his European tour this week, hoping to enter the high-stakes summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin tomorrow appearing united with western allies. That has mostly come in statements of support, but the trade dispute resolution is a concrete signal of his intent to normalize traditional US alliances after four years of strain.

“America is back. We are committed — we have never fully left — but we are reasserting the fact it is overwhelmingly in the interest of the United States to have a great relationship with NATO and with the EU,” Biden said as the talks began. “I have a very different view than my predecessor.”

His message was welcomed by his hosts, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

“The last four years have not been easy,” said von der Leyen.

Officials want to ease trade tensions ahead of Biden’s meeting with Putin to put on a united front against Moscow.

Brother of detained American in Russia says he's "hopeful" Biden will be able to help release him

Paul Whelan stands in a holding cell as he waits for a hearing in a court room in Moscow, Russia, on August 23, 2019. 

David Whelan, the brother of Paul Whelan, an American imprisoned in Russia since 2018, said he is “hopeful” that US President Joe Biden’s administration will be able to help release his sibling. 

“I would say thank you,” Whelan said he’d tell Biden ahead of the US President’s Wednesday meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “For extending the offer to have this summit. For being pragmatic in the relationship with the Russian Federation, and to let him know that we are supportive of him and the decisions that he may have to make. And we are hopeful that his administration will find a way to bring our brother, son, home to our family.”

Paul Whelan, a former US marine, was convicted by a Moscow court of espionage on June 15, 2020 and sentenced to 16 years in prison. He was detained at a Moscow hotel in December 2018 by Russian authorities who alleged he was involved in an intelligence operation.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Moscow is ready to hand over US citizens convicted in Russia, but Paul Whelan will not be among them.

David Whelan told CNN’s Ana Cabrera that he thinks his brother is being used as a bargaining chip. 

Whelan also said he understand Biden is in a “difficult situation.”

“The President is responsible for all of the American citizens wherever they are, and so it’s a very difficult situation for him to have to decide about,” he said. 

Watch:

EU and US outline new "Transatlantic Agenda" for post-pandemic cooperation

The European Union and the United States have, in a joint statement, reaffirmed their commitment to the transatlantic partnership, setting key objectives of cooperation as part of the new “Transatlantic Agenda” for the post-pandemic era. 

“We, the leaders of the European Union and the United States, met today to renew our Transatlantic partnership, set a Joint Transatlantic Agenda for the post-pandemic era, and commit to regular dialogue to take stock of progress,” the two parties said in a statement on Monday. 

“We have a chance and a responsibility to help people make a living and keep them safe and secure, fight climate change, and stand up for democracy and human rights,” the statement added. 

The joint statement, published by the European Council, comes after a meeting between EU officials and US President Joe Biden in Brussels, where talks focused on strengthening cooperation on matters including the coronavirus pandemic, the climate crisis, tech innovation and trade. 

“Together, we intend to: end the COVID-19 pandemic, prepare for future global health challenges, and drive forward a sustainable global recovery; protect our planet and foster green growth; strengthen trade, investment and technological cooperation; build a more democratic, peaceful and secure world,” the statement said. 

“We are committed to uphold the rules-based international order with the United Nations at its core, reinvigorate and reform multilateral institutions where needed, and cooperate with all those who share these objectives,” the statement added. 

US officials give details of upcoming Biden-Putin summit

President Joe Biden steps off Air Force One at Geneva Airport in Geneva, Switzerland, on Tuesday, June 15. 

President Joe Biden arrived in Geneva on Tuesday as US officials laid out the structure of his hotly anticipated talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Air Force One landed in Geneva around 10:20 a.m. ET local.

Officials aboard the plane said Biden would meet Putin at 1 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET) at the lakeside villa where the summit is occurring. Putin will arrive to the villa first. Both will be greeted by the Swiss president before all three pose for a photo

Their first meeting will contain four participants: Biden, Putin, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Each side will have a translator, and there will be a pool photo-op at the start.

The meeting will then expand with five-member delegations on each side, in addition to Biden and Putin. It wasn’t yet clear who would participate in the US delegation.

US officials said they expected the talks to last four to five hours, or perhaps longer. The leaders are not expected to share a meal.

“No breaking of bread,” a senior administration official said.

The two leaders will conclude by convening separate press conferences.

Officials underscored the modest expectations for the talks, listing nuclear stability and other arms control agreements as a potential source of agreement. They said it was possible that areas of potential cooperation are farmed out to aides for further work

Ransomware is expected to factor heavily in the talks, and the official said Biden would underscore the US plans to respond to continued state-directed hacks.

Biden will raise human rights, the official said, but would not specify if that will include a discussion of opposition leader Alexey Navalny.

Both the US and Russian ambassadors to the respective capitals will be in Geneva for the talks.

The official said Biden has been reviewing the issues in written material and engaging with a wide variety of advisers in the lead-up to the summit.

Brussels summit “only the beginning” of “stronger alliance” between EU and US, council president says

Tuesday’s meeting between European Union officials and US President Biden in Brussels is “only the beginning” of a “stronger” future relationship between the EU and the US, European Council President Charles Michel said Tuesday, describing Biden as a “partner we can rely on.” 

“It was a pleasure to host President Biden today. We share a long history with the United States, we shaped much of the last century and now it’s time to shape this century,” Michel said during a press briefing. 

“There will of course still be sensitive, delicate issues to be dealt with between us, but we’re in listening mode, we’re listening to each other, and we can see our way forward to meet solutions and mutual benefit,” he added. 

Addressing members of the press, the European Council president said talks with Biden focused on cooperation on matters including the coronavirus pandemic, the climate crisis, tech innovation and trade.  

“We’re very pleased with this renewed commitment of the Americans and I think today’s very intensive session has been very good,” Michel said. 

“It’s only the beginning, we shall continue to step up our cooperation to promote our shared values,” he added. 

Biden lands in Geneva ahead of summit with Putin

President Joe Biden has just landed in Geneva ahead of his summit wit Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

Biden will meet with Putin in two sessions tomorrow. One will be with a smaller group and one with be with a larger contingent of aides, according to a White House official.

It was still being worked out with the Russians what the exact composition of each meeting will be, though Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are expected to participate.

You can read more about Wednesday’s summit: here.

Biden held meeting with Russia experts to prepare for Putin summit

President Biden held a meeting with a group of Russia experts earlier this month to get their input on dealing with Putin ahead of the summit, a person familiar with the meeting told CNN.

Among the attendees was Angela Stent, former National intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at the National Intelligence Council, former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, former National Security Council senior director for Russia Fiona Hill, former ambassador to Russia John Tefft, the controversial Russia expert Matthew Rojansky and former Deputy Secretary General of NATO Rose Gottemoeller. 

Axios was first to report the meeting and attendance of McFaul, Hill, Tefft and Gottemoeller.

The consensus of this group was that Biden shouldn’t hold a joint press conference with Putin at the end of their talks, according to sources familiar with the discussion.

This was not the first time Biden has convened Russia experts to brief him ahead of a Russia-focused meeting, per former official. He did the same as vice president.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misspelled the names of John Tefft and Rose Gottemoeller.

Biden departs Brussels for Geneva

Biden departs Brussels for Geneva.

President Biden has departed Brussels after a NATO summit and talks with EU leaders.  

During their meetings, the United States and European Union settled a 17-year disagreement over how much each subsidizes its largest aircraft manufacturer. The resolution underscores Biden’s eagerness to restore transatlantic ties during his European tour and to normalize traditional US alliances after four years of strain.

Air Force One departed around 9:10 a.m. ET bound for Geneva, where he will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. 

"We must stand together for democratic principles," Harris says during the Brussels Forum

United States Vice President Kamala Harris called on democracies to recommit to the principals that keep them healthy during pre-recorded remarks to the Brussels Forum on Tuesday.  

Harris echoed what President Biden has said multiple times during his first foreign trip this week, that “America is back,” and committed to reengaging with Europe to strengthen the transatlantic partnership.

But she also stressed that democracy has been under attack in the US and around the world, and that the strength of one democracy depends on the strength of all democracies.

“The truth is we face many shared challenges: the pandemic and the resulting economic uncertainty, climate change, cyber threats, and the resulting security concerns, and, of course, the outright assault on democracy that is occurring around the globe,” Harris said.

“Democracies require constant intentionality, constant vigilance, constant effort. It is when we stop doing that work, when we neglect democracy, it is when we take democracy for granted, that the attacks are able to grow,” she added.

The Vice President also discussed the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol, saying it was able to occur because of an undermining of basic facts and disinformation, “chipping away at public confidence in our press and scientists, our courts and our elections.”

“I will never forget the horror and the heartbreak of January 6, 2021, when our United States Capitol, a beacon of democracy for so many, came under siege by a violent mob who refused to accept the results of a free and fair election. It is not enough to say we cannot let something like that ever happen again. We must commit and recommit our democratic principles and lead by example. We must reinforce our democratic institutions to deliver real results and instill trust,” she said.

Harris said the world’s democracies must unite to address threatening challenges, like corruption, injustices and human rights violations. 

“And that is why wherever, whenever human rights are violated, we must stand together. Just as we did when the United States and the EU issued joint sanctions against China for abuses in Xinjiang. Just as we did when we stood up to Russia for its attack on Alexei Navalny … We must stand together for democratic principles,” Harris said.

Ahead of the Biden-Putin summit, here's a look at when US presidents have met Russian leaders

US and Russian leaders have met many times over the past century — sometimes as allies and sometimes as adversaries. The affairs, however, are always highly anticipated.

As US President Biden prepares to meet face to face with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva tomorrow, here’s a look back at some of some historical meetings between the two countries’ leaders.

From left, Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin attend the Yalta Conference in the Soviet Union in 1945. They were meeting to talk about a postwar plan for Europe and how it would be reorganized after the fall of Nazi Germany. Today, many historians conclude that Stalin was the "winner" at Yalta, as much of Eastern Europe would soon fall within the Soviet orbit. Churchill and Roosevelt won no meaningful concessions on Poland, which was already occupied by Soviet troops.
Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev shares a toast with US President Richard Nixon after they signed a few agreements during a summit in Washington, DC, in 1973. The two men also held productive meetings in Moscow in 1972, signing major arms-control treaties.
US President-elect George H.W. Bush points out sights for Gorbachev while Reagan looks on, as they overlook New York Harbor from Governors Island in 1988.
Obama and Medvedev eat cheeseburgers in Arlington, Virginia, in 2010. Earlier, they met in the White House Oval Office.
US President Donald Trump chats with Putin on the sidelines of the APEC Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, in 2017. Trump said he took Putin at his word that Russia did not seek to interfere in the US presidential election in 2016, despite a finding from US intelligence agencies that it did.

Biden warns against "phony populism" in EU summit

The EU-USA Summit commences in Brussels, Belgium on June 15.

As he began summit talks with European Union leaders on Tuesday, President Joe Biden warned against the “phony populism” spreading on the American and European continents.

“We’re in the midst of a terrible beauty having been born,” he said, quoting Yeats. “A great shift in technology. A great shift in development in the world. It’s causing great anxiety in our countries.”

Biden was seated around a large circular table with European officials and American Cabinet members, including the secretaries of State and Commerce.

The summit was expected to produce breakthroughs on trade, including a resolution of the 17-year-old Airbus/Boeing dispute, and the formation of a new trade and technology council.

Economic and technological changes were causing political instability that has led to unfortunate outcomes, he said.

“It generates some folks, who are somewhat more like charlatans, trying to take advantage of those concerns,” he added. “We see that in Europe and the United States, we see that around the world — the phony populism. It seems to me the best answer to deal with these changes is to have a circumstance where our economies grow and they grow together.”

Biden said he wanted to address those issues during his talks with European leaders, which he is conducting a day ahead of traveling to Geneva to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Europe is our natural partner, and the reason is we’re committed to the same democratic norms, and they are increasingly under attack,” he said.

"Completely inappropriate" to discuss prisoner swap ahead of Biden-Putin summit, Kremlin says

“It is completely inappropriate now to discuss” who could be involved in a possible US-Russian prisoner swap, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN during a conference call with journalists on Tuesday.

Peskov added that Russian President Vladimir Putin has already publicly said he would be open to a prisoner swap, but details need to be discussed between the two presidents.

The issue of prisoner swaps is high on the agenda ahead of Wednesday’s Biden-Putin summit in Geneva, Switzerland, with both US and Russian officials saying they want their citizens returned.

Peskov’s comments follow statements from Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who stated that Moscow is ready to hand over US citizens convicted in Russia, but Paul Whelan will not be among them.

The Biden-Putin summit will likely last around four-to-five hours, the spokesperson said, adding that the Russian president will hold a press conference “as soon as” the talks are over.

“I don’t know if there will be a press conference for Mr. Biden. But I can officially confirm that a press conference of Vladimir Putin following the meeting will take place.”

Biden showcases Western support before heading to meet Putin

US President Joe Biden speaks during a press conference at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, on June 14.

President Joe Biden’s European tour has demonstrated Western solidarity before he arrives in Geneva for lengthy and contentious talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, scheduled for Wednesday.

At the Group of 7 and NATO summits, he discussed the upcoming meeting with at least two dozen foreign leaders, from the Chancellor of Germany to the leaders of the tiny Baltic states to the right-wing President of Poland. He was even quizzed on the meeting by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II over tea at Windsor Castle.

It’s part of a clear US effort to arrive at the Putin meeting after public displays of unity among Western allies, according to a person familiar with the process.

Biden will meet with Putin in two sessions, one a smaller group and one with a larger contingent of aides, according to a White House official.

It was still being worked out with the Russians what the exact composition of each meeting will be, though Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are expected to participate.

Read the full story here.

US and EU resolve 17-year dispute over Boeing and Airbus subsidies

The United States and European Union settled a 17-year disagreement over how much each subsidizes its largest aircraft manufacturer, as US President Joe Biden met with EU leaders in Brussels Tuesday.

The resolution underscores Biden’s eagerness to restore transatlantic ties during his European tour and to normalize traditional US alliances after four years of strain.

The dispute over government support – for Boeing in the US and Airbus in the EU – devolved under former President Donald Trump, who slapped tariffs worth $7.5 billion on European products. That led to reciprocal tariffs applied by the EU on the United States.

As part of the resolution, the two sides agreed to suspend tariffs for five years that each had put on the other as part of the trade battle. They also will each release statements spelling out “acceptable support” for the aircraft manufacturers.
US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said the settlement – reached after months of intensive talks – “resolves a long standing trade irritant in the US-Europe relationship. Instead of fighting with one of our closest allies, we are finally coming together against a common threat.”

Tai said the US had reserved the right to reapply the tariffs if Europe doesn’t uphold its side of the deal. The trade representative also mentioned China as a motivating factor in uniting on trade at this moment.

“A renewed trade and investment partnership with the European Union is a top priority for the administration and our early efforts have been successful,” Tai said.

"America is back," Biden says ahead of meetings with EU leaders

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, left, European Council President Charles Michel, right, and US President Joe Biden arrive for the EU-US summit at the Europa building in Brussels on June 15.

US President Joe Biden arrived to meetings with European officials on Tuesday vowing to restore relations after four years of tension under Donald Trump.

“America is back. We are committed – we have never fully left – but we are reasserting the fact it is overwhelmingly in the interest of the United States to have a great relationship with NATO and with the EU,” Biden said.
“I have a very different view than my predecessor,” he added.

Biden’s message was welcomed by his hosts, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

“You are back in Brussels and America is back on the global scene,” Michel said. “It’s great news.”

“The last four years have not been easy,” said Von der Leyen. “The world has dramatically changed, Europe has changed, we want to reassure you, your friends and allies.”

A "wonderful place on the lake": Putin aide reveals details of Wednesday's meeting with Biden

An aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin has briefed media on the upcoming meeting with US President Joe Biden, according to Russian state news agency Ria Novosti.

The meeting is scheduled on Wednesday at 1 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET) at the Villa La Grange in Geneva, Switzerland, Ria reported, citing Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov.

Ushakov called the venue a “wonderful place on the lake,” with “good conditions for negotiations,” Ria reported. A tent has also been built for the press conference, Ushakov added.

The aide also gave a further rundown of the summit. According to Ria, Ushakov said:

  • Putin will first be met by the President of Switzerland Guy Parmelin. Then Biden will arrive.
  • After a joint photo session and some words from the host, Putin and Biden will proceed to the Villa La Grange library.
  • During the first part of the meeting, Putin will be accompanied by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, while Biden will be accompanied by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
  • Stenographers will be present for the second part of the meeting, with simultaneous interpreting taking place.
  • Both sides will hold a separate press conference after the talks conclude.

“As for whether the presidents will want to step aside and have a real one-on-one talk, I don’t know, it’s up to them,” Ushakov added, according to Ria.

The Russian delegation will also include Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, the Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov, the Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

Also present will be the deputy head of the presidential administration Dmitry Kozak and the special presidential envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentyev. Given their presence, Ria deducts Putin and Biden may discuss the situation in Ukraine and in the Middle East.

Ushakov said that the leaders’ meeting would touch upon topics including the situation in Belarus and jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny, Ria reported.

Biden arrives at Royal Palace of Brussels

US President Joe Biden signs a book during his meeting with King Philippe at the Royal Palace of Brussels on June 15.

President Joe Biden has arrived at the Royal Palace of Brussels, where he was greeted by Belgium’s King Philippe and Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.

The three leaders walked into a grand hallway and posed for a socially distanced photo, each taking off their masks for the picture. They were flanked by Belgian and American flags.

Biden and Philippe then put their masks back on, and the US President sat in a red velvet upholstered chair at an ornate wooden desk, where he signed a book.

The President, the King and the Prime Minister will hold a bilateral meeting ahead of the US-EU summit.

Biden and Putin are meeting tomorrow. Here's how the US President is preparing for the high-stakes summit

President Joe Biden speaks during a media conference at a NATO summit in Brussels, Monday, June 14.

US President Joe Biden is using time away from summit meetings on his European tour this week for intense preparations ahead of his talks with Vladimir Putin, according to officials, as he works to avoid the pitfalls his predecessors faced in showdowns with the Russian leader.

Most of his formal meetings this week have started after noon, leaving his mornings free for consultations with advisers. He has held lengthy preparation sessions with senior officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan, to discuss the wide range of issues he plans to bring up with Putin, from cyberattacks to Syria to Ukraine.

The President has also asked foreign leaders at the G7, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for their input as he prepares for the meeting in Geneva, according to people familiar with the conversations. Putin even came up as a point of conversation during his tea with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle, Biden told reporters, saying she “wanted to know” about the Russian President.

Given some NATO allies had expressed concern about the optics of Biden’s summit with Putin, Sullivan said Biden would speak privately with leaders “about what he intends to talk to Putin about” during a meeting of the defense alliance on Monday.

As Biden becomes the fifth straight American president with whom Putin has met, officials want Biden to be prepared for Putin’s tactics, including his well-known habit of turning discussions of Russia’s bad practices back on the United States. Biden has told aides he believes Putin will respond to directness during their talks and wants to be ready to offer a frank message.

“He’s overprepared!” Biden’s wife, first lady Jill Biden, exclaimed last week when asked whether her husband was primed for his meeting with Putin.

Along with Merkel, Biden has opened the door for input to other key allies in bilateral meetings and conversations on the margins over the last several days. The idea serves dual purposes, aides said: While Biden’s decades in foreign policy give him a self-assurance about his approach, he sees value in the views of others who have had similar meetings with the Russian leader.

Read the full story here.

US and EU to form joint council on trade and technology to counter China

Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson attend the NATO summit in Brussels on Monday.

The United States and the European Union will form a joint council meant to address questions of trade and technology, in part to provide a better check on China’s economic practices, a senior Biden administration official said.

The task force will be announced during President Joe Biden’s summit with EU officials in Brussels on Tuesday. 

The task force is meant to “work together to write the rules of the road for the next generation, particularly in the areas of economics and emerging technologies,” the official said.

“We also have to take account of the fact that China poses a significant challenge in both of these areas, and dealing with China’s non-market practices, its economic abuses and, of course, efforts to shape the rules of the road on technology for the 21st century will be an important part of the work of this council, and this fits with President Biden’s fundamental strategy,” the official said. 

It will focus on new technology like artificial intelligence, quantum computing and supply chain resilience.

The trade side will center on WTO reform, regulations and the role of trade on climate change.

The US side will be co-chaired by the secretaries of State and Commerce, along with the US trade representative.

Biden and EU leaders will also discuss Covid-19, climate and other foreign policy challenges, including Iran.

The meeting is not expected to produce a resolution on steel and aluminum tariffs that have been in place since the Trump administration and have caused a rift between the US and EU. 

Still, “the direction of travel is positive, and we do believe that there is a way to resolve this that works for both the United States and the European Union,” the official said.

China calls NATO communiqué a continuation of “Cold War mentality” and “clique politics”

China on Tuesday slammed NATO’s warning yesterday that Beijing posed “systemic challenges” to the alliance and the international order. 

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned on Monday that China “is coming closer to us” in military prowess and that Beijing doesn’t share the Western values NATO was set up to defend.

China responded Tuesday by calling the NATO statement a “continuation of the Cold War mentality and clique politics psychology.”

A spokesperson from the Chinese mission to the EU said in a statement that China had always been reasonable and transparent in terms of national defense policy, adding that accusing China of posing a “systemic challenge” was slanderous and misjudged.

“The number of nuclear weapons in China is not at the same level as that of NATO countries such as the United States,” the spokesperson said, adding that the “number of nuclear warheads in NATO member states is nearly 20 times that of China.”

“People all over the world can see clearly whose military bases are all over the world and whose aircraft carriers are showing off their military power,” the spokesperson added.

In its joint statement Monday, the 30-member NATO alliance said it was “increasingly confronted by cyber, hybrid, and other asymmetric threats, including disinformation campaigns, and by the malicious use of ever-more sophisticated emerging and disruptive technologies. Rapid advances in the space domain are affecting our security. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the erosion of the arms control architecture also undermine our collective security.”

Chinese state media also published an editorial Tuesday, rebuking NATO’s comments and urging member nations not to be “politically exploited by Washington.” The Global Times editorial warned that “NATO is a military bloc, from which sending a confrontational message to China is naturally considered more severe than doing so through the G7.”

The NATO communiqué comes off the back of the G7 summit, where Biden said he “walked away” from the meeting convinced that the group recognizes that China is part of a growing threat to global democracy.

While G7 leaders agreed to take steps to curb China’s influence during the summit, Europeans are squeamish about getting dragged by the US into a showdown with Beijing.

US officials said earlier on Monday that Italy and Germany were uneasy with the NATO language.

Stressing “balance,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that “China is our rival in many questions but also our partner in many aspects.” French President Emmanuel Macron said the G7 wanted to work with Beijing on climate, trade, development and other issues despite disagreements, saying that the “G7 is not a club hostile to China.”

During the summit, leaders agreed to set up an alternative to China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, called on China to respect human rights in Hong Kong and in the Xinjiang province, and to permit a full probe into the origins of Covid-19. It also called for calm in the South and East China seas.

These are the key topics Biden will discuss with the European Union today

President Joe Biden touches a memorial for the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States after a summit June 14, at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

US President Joe Biden will participate in the US-EU summit on Tuesday in Brussels following yesterday’s NATO meeting.

The meeting serves to underscore the US commitment to strong transatlantic ties, the White House says. Biden will also meet with King Philippe of Belgium and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.

According to Washington, the leaders will discuss a “common agenda” to ensure:

  • Global health security
  • Global economic recovery
  • Solutions to the climate crisis
  • Enhancing digital and trade cooperation
  • Strengthening democracy, among other mutual concerns

The President is then scheduled to hold a highly anticipated summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday in Geneva.

Biden said Sunday he agreed with Putin that relations between the US and Russia are at a “low point,” but told reporters that the US is “not looking for conflict” and said there may be a “strategic doctrine” that the countries could agree on that touches on areas like the climate crisis.

Biden also defended the decision not to hold a joint news conference with Putin after their high stakes meeting, arguing such an appearance would only serve to detract from the US’ goal of working toward a stable and predictable relationship with Russia.

Today’s EU summit comes after G7 leaders issued a final communiqué over the weekend of their shared agenda moving forward. It committed to ending the coronavirus pandemic, combating the climate crisis, speaking out against human rights abuses in China, singling out Russia as harboring networks that have conducted ransomware attacks, and issuing a call for a new study into the origins of Covid-19, among other issues.

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