President Biden will travel to the G7 and NATO summits this week to emphasize the “strength” of U.S. alliances amid what a senior administration official describes as “the most serious security situation in decades,” and as the united Western front backing Ukraine against Russia shows signs of strain.
The president will travel to Schloss Elmau in southern Germany Saturday to attend the G7 Leaders’ Summit, where he and allies will discuss a range of the most pressing global issues.
Topics will include the G7’s “unwavering support for a democratic, sovereign and prosperous Ukraine, economic and democratic resilience, tackling the climate crisis, development infrastructure, global health security and the food and energy crisis caused by Russia’s war of aggression,” the White House said.
A senior administration official said the president will begin his visit to Germany by meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
The official said the meeting would be “a good opportunity for the president to check signals with Germany at the top, as well as to affirm the enduring ties between our two countries and our continued coordination on a broad range of global challenges.”
President Biden speaks about inflation and supply chain issues at the Port of Los Angeles June 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
The G7 consists of the United States, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, Japan and United Kingdom.
An official said representatives from Argentina, India, Indonesia, Senegal and South Africa will also participate in select sessions as guest countries.
The official also noted that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will join leaders virtually at the G7 to discuss the “ongoing efforts to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia’s aggression.”
“We will address the impact of Putin’s war on prices rising at home and all over the world, including on energy security and food security,” the official said.
“They will strengthen our cooperation on economic issues, cyberspace and quantum and, in particular, the challenges posed by China.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a meeting with military officials as he visits the Mykolaiv region June 18, 2022 (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
The official also announced that the president will make an “official launch” of the U.S. “global infrastructure partnership,” which is set to “lift up our low and middle-income partner countries while advancing U.S. economic competitiveness and national security.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a news conference with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa after their meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, May 21, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
“He has clearly failed because, as I said, our assessment is that NATO is more strong and united than ever,” the official said.
The comments come as western unity on Ukraine is beginning to show signs of wear and tear, as the war rages on for a fourth month. Reports suggest that France, Italy and Germany could be hoping to begin peace negotiations with Russia.
French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi traveled to Kyiv last week to meet with Zelenskyy.
“Russia obviously continues to be the most serious and immediate threat to the alliance,” the official said, but NATO plans to address the challenges coming from China as well.
With regard to discussions on energy and rising gas prices, the official said Ukraine is expected to be “at the very front of conversations.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the country’s transport industry via video link in Sochi, Russia, May 24, 2022. (Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Kremlin via Reuters)
“I think we expect energy to be very much at the heart of the discussions,” the official said. “The principle that President Biden has articulated there — G7 leaders have articulated since the start of Russia’s invasion — has been one of maximizing pain on Putin’s regime and minimizing the spill backs back onto the rest of the world.”
The official said that leaders are “likely to speak to a set of shared values around taking steps to reduce reliance on Russian energy.”
Biden in March announced a ban on all imports of Russian oil, gas and energy to the United States, targeting “the main artery” of Russia’s economy amid Putin’s war on Ukraine.
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