President Biden says the United States and Europe will present a united front at the upcoming G7 conference, and will announce a worldwide vaccine strategy.
As he embarked for Europe on Wednesday, Mr Biden said his goals for the meeting were “strengthening the alliance and making it clear to Putin and to China that Europe and the United States are tight, and the G7 is going to move”.
After a reporter asked if he planned to unveil an international vaccination plan, the president responded, “I have one and I’ll be announcing it. Thank you.”
The G7 summit will take place from Friday to Sunday in Cornwall, England, where Mr Biden and European leaders will discuss the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, trade, infrastructure in the developing world, and other subjects.
As the first US president since Donald Trump, Mr Biden is expected to receive a warm reception. Mr Trump delighted in spurning America’s European allies, withdrawing from treaties like the Paris climate accord and accusing partner nations of not paying enough for organisations like NATO – all while praising Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mr Biden has made it clear he plans to take a different approach.
“Will the democratic alliances and institutions that shaped so much of the last century prove their capacity against modern-day threats and adversaries? I believe the answer is yes,” the president wrote in The Washington Post on Saturday. “And this week in Europe, we have the chance to prove it.”
After the G7, Mr Biden will attend a summit with other NATO leaders in Brussels, and finish his trip with a meeting with Mr Putin in Geneva.
On Wednesday morning, a reporter asked Mr Biden if he expects to reach an “understanding” with the Russian president regarding cyberattacks.
“Who knows at this point,” the president replied. “It’s going to be a subject of our discussion.”
Russian groups have been linked to numerous ransomware attacks in recent weeks, including on the Colonial Pipeline and the beef producer JBS. Russia has denied any involvement.
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