What to expect from the European tour of the President of the United States
Joe Biden will fly to Europe this week to attend a series of emergency summits over the Ukrainian crisis. The upcoming tour of the US president has been called one of the most important visits of US presidents in recent decades. In addition to Brussels, where Biden plans to discuss assistance to Ukraine and the punishment of Russia with NATO allies and the leadership of the European Union and the G7, the program of the trip includes Poland. Analysts are wondering what to expect from the foreign policy of the US president.
As Ukrainian President Zelensky cries out to the West for help and warnings of World War III, Joe Biden was seen riding the great on Sunday. What gave his critics reason to “blow up” the head of the White House: why did he go on a weekend vacation in his home state of Delaware amid geopolitical perturbations? However, the 79-year-old president can reasonably object that he is not relaxing, but gaining strength before the transatlantic journey.
The emergency summit of NATO, which will take place on March 24, has been talked about for a couple of weeks now. Biden and his colleagues are expected to once again demonstrate the unity of the “collective West” in support of Ukraine and unveil a package of new anti-Russian measures.
According to CNN sources, the Brussels meeting may announce new sanctions against Russian oligarchs, additional measures to limit Russia’s financial sphere and steps to limit imports of Russian energy: some European countries insist on a complete abandonment of Russian oil, Germany against.
The possibility of increasing the deployment of American troops on NATO’s eastern borders in Europe should also be expected.
CNN notes that it is doubtful that these steps will stop the conflict in Ukraine. And here the Western allies find themselves in a rather difficult situation. On the one hand, Biden has managed to unite European and Asian allies through a punitive set of sanctions against Russia and an unprecedented level of military aid to Kiev. On the other hand, Western leaders have drawn the line where their support ends.
But we must not forget that pragmatism and cold calculation can give way to emotions. Let us recall the recent appeal of Vladimir Zelensky to the US Congress with another request to create a no-fly zone over Ukraine and help in obtaining fighters. In the appeals of the Ukrainian president, one can see attempts to take Biden “weak”, reminding him of the role of America and him personally as the “leader of the free world.”
However, observers do not expect sharp moves from NATO – and doubt that the alliance will meet Kiev in the creation of a “no-fly zone” or the provision of fighters, as the United States and its allies want to avoid direct confrontation with Russia.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance’s summit in Brussels made it clear that the bloc wanted to send a signal “to protect and defend all NATO allies”, while preventing the escalation of the conflict to a full-scale clash with Russia.
So, according to forecasts, the result of the summits with the participation of Biden, most likely, will be an increase in aid (military and financial), which is already provided to Ukraine, as well as the application of new sanctions against Russia. Eastern European members of NATO are also asking the Americans and the British to send advanced air defense systems.
Another of Biden’s tasks during his European trip is to discuss China’s policy with his allies if Beijing decides to provide Russia with military or economic support. During Friday’s video talks between Chinese and US leaders, the US president warned Xi Jinping of the “consequences”. But punishing Washington’s second economy without the help of Washington’s European partners would be a daunting task – so we will have to sweat a lot.
And returning to the emotional sphere: for her, perhaps, during Biden’s European trip, the visit to Poland, flooded with Ukrainian refugees, scheduled for Friday, will be responsible. The program of the visit includes a meeting between the US President and his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda. The topic is the conflict-caused humanitarian crisis and the human rights crisis. It is possible that on the Polish territory for the American guest will be organized communication with Ukrainian refugees (and through Poland came to the EU about two million) – and, most likely, this will be the most emotionally charged part of the tour that could push Biden to sharper steps against Russia.
But Biden, of course, does not plan to visit Ukraine itself. Although the invitations on this topic sounded: Poroshenko called on the American leader, whom he called his “very good friend and very good friend of Ukraine”, to visit Kyiv as a “symbol of our solidarity.” But security considerations were clearly more important than beautiful gestures.