After seven days, three states and dozens of meetings with leaders, it could be said that this was the week in which the American president Joe Biden Tried to close most of the fronts that preceded in the role Donald Trump opened against Europe – and open some news against other rivals.
Biden seems to have set himself the goal, as he did in a series of presidential decrees he signed at a record pace with the start of his tenure, to put out most of the fires the previous administration has ignited in delicate relations between Europe and the US. , Biden took this concept to the European Tour this week.
Trump called NATO “outdated” and demanded hundreds of millions of dollars in refunds from its members in exchange for American defense over the years? Biden praised the beginning of a “new era” in transatlantic relations and did not talk about money; the Trump administration imposed $ 7.5 billion in tariffs French wine and Italian pasta? The Biden administration canceled them this week as part of a compromise that ended a 17-year conflict over government subsidies for Boeing and Airbus; Trump clashed with French President Emanuel Macron over imposing a tax on American technology giants? Biden adopted the solution A week at 7G to prevent them from evading local tax.
Not just to please the Europeans
It is clear that the rationale for these moves is not merely symbolic. Biden is not declaring “America back” just to please the Europeans or to emphasize the differences between him and the previous American president. He does this with the clear aim of mobilizing Europe alongside him in the struggle he sees as most important – the battle against China, and to a lesser extent in the confrontation with Russia. He compromises with the Europeans, removes sanctions and removes from the agenda issues such as the rate of defense spending as part of GDP or the Russian gas pipeline to Germany “Nord Stream 2” to get something back in what he sees as the most urgent and important global confrontation – the struggle against China.
To a large extent, Biden is following in the footsteps of Trump’s declarations of a trade war with China, but is educated to rally transatlantic support rather than act alone. Trump, too, realized this, around the end of his tenure, and tried to lower the flames in the trade confrontation with the union. It is time to cover and return to it with the aim of testing vehicles and settling for European purchases of American agricultural produce. Biden is trying to improve positions already in the first stage, and to unite what he calls the “bloc of democracies”, behind the trade, security and human rights clashes with China.
“The Chinese are not partners in our efforts”
does it work? There are signs yes. The concluding remarks of the 7G summit held last weekend in Britain and the concluding remarks of the NATO summit in Brussels on Monday adopt relatively harsh terms regarding China. “The Chinese do not share our values,” NATO Secretary-General Yance Stolentberg declared at the end of the summit, while The joint statement defines the country as a “systemic challenge to the world order” and condemns its “assertive behavior”. Biden is leading a reorientation of the alliance, founded to protect the West from the Soviet Union, to protect against Chinese aspirations.
“China joins Russia as official threat to NATO alliance,” European media announced this week. The 7G’s concluding statement even calls for “re-investigating” the source of the corona virus, and testing whether it is in a Chinese government lab – a theory considered conspiracy a few months ago only.
Biden repeats the same message everywhere
The Bayden Charm attack, the politician with the biggest smile in the area, also continued to the EU summit with the US in Brussels on Tuesday, where it also appeared to have borne fruit. The Uyghur Muslim minority and the repression of the opposition in Hong Kong German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country is China’s largest trading partner, now supports it even though she was the one who pushed to sign the agreement in December, even before Biden’s inauguration.
Even the plans to establish a Chinese university in Hungary have been suspended for the time being, and Lithuania has withdrawn from the negotiation mechanism of Eastern and Central European countries with China. Biden also sought to meet with the leaders of the anti-Russian Baltic states during the NATO summit.
Everywhere Biden repeated my central message, the same message that American leaders had sounded for years until the “disruption” that occurred with Trump’s rise to power. “We have the opportunity to work closely with the EU and also with NATO, and we feel good about that,” Biden said, providing the bottom line of his motives: “Clearly and exceptionally, it is in the US interest to maintain an excellent relationship with The organizations, but Russia and China are shutting down transatlantic solidarity. “
Attack on the smiles of the American president
Regarding Russia the situation is more complex. Germany is still deep in “Ostpolitics”, with a gas pipeline that will bring billions into the Putin regime and is considered a strategic project of the country. Biden’s relinquishment to Germany, in the form of avoiding further sanctions on the project, will have to cost the Germans something. The question is where.
One of the only fronts left open is the steel and aluminum caps imposed by Europe on Europe, but progress was made when Europe unilaterally announced that it would unilaterally increase its response caps by the end of the year. Von Der Lane in a meeting with Biden The second issue is the nuclear deal with Iran, in which efforts are underway to re-formulate a series that would prevent Iran from advancing to nuclear weapons.
“America is back” was the motto of Biden’s European column, but the powers’ goals, especially the ongoing conflict with China over trade, military, and human rights issues, have remained similar to those of recent years. Biden’s wide smile attack is trying to form a coalition behind the US, one that Trump was unwilling to accept.
Erdogan and Biden at NATO summit in Brussels, Monday / Photo: Associated Press
Biden and Putin Summit: One meeting, two press conferences and mutual bites
US President Joe Biden appeared at the summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin after a week in which he garnered international support for US positions vis-à-vis Russia, and also answered countless questions about what exactly he intends to say to the Russian leader responsible for suppressing opposition in his country. Towards the West, interference in election campaigns abroad, general aggression, illegal annexation in Ukraine and more.
But it was Putin who reminded the American president at the outset that it was an American initiative to meet. “Thank you for initiating this meeting,” Putin told Biden in a photo op at La Grenage Castle on the shores of Lake Geneva, making sure the media heard him. Biden replied that he “believes it is always good to meet face to face”. The two leaders later repeated the same things at the separate press conferences they held. The subtext is clear: the meeting itself was an achievement for the Russian president, while Biden justified it in his experience as a politician and statesman.
European Council President Charles Michel, Biden and Commission President Ursula von der Lane / Photo: Associated Press
The meeting ended faster than expected
Although it was predicted that the session would last five hours, it lasted only four. What are two and a half hours net. “At one point we looked at each other and said, what next?” Biden told a news conference separate from that of the Russian president. Putin seems to have been more generous with compliments to the American president. He described him as an “experienced statesman”, said there had been “constructive talks” and tried to send a message that the US and Russia are equal powers in their power to discuss world affairs “because of our shared responsibility”.
Putin answered questions from journalists, many of them Americans who asked about the repression of the opposition, and likened the situation in his country to that in the US, whether he compared the imprisonment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny to the punishments of those who stormed Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021 Of blacks in the US. He said Russia and the US would discuss the issue of cyber attacks, but denied that the source of the problem was in Russia, citing an anonymous report that most global cyber attacks come from the US, UK and Canada.
Summit meeting between Biden and Putin, Wednesday / Photo: Associated Press
There is no new cold war
Biden then appeared in high spirits in front of the media and said he had seen “large parts” of Putin’s press conference. He made it clear that there was no “new cold war”, but did not hesitate to launch some threats to Russia, as the head of the world’s great power. “We have provided the Russians with a list of 16 infrastructure areas, including water and energy,” Biden said, “that any cyber attack on them would be considered an attack on critical U.S. infrastructure.” He said the U.S. would “respond decisively” to any cyber attack in those areas. “Putin does not know what capabilities the United States has.” He also said that Russia shares the US desire to “prevent a nuclear Iran” and that talks on a nuclear deal with Iran, in which Russia is a partner, will continue.
Above all, Biden has made it clear that he is interested in a “stable and predictable” strategic relationship with Russia. He also updated that a mechanism has been established to deal with the stabilization of relations. “We need basic rules of the game that we all follow.” But as in the past, even after the summit, it will be mainly the Russian behavior that will determine the nature of the relationship. Putin has previously shown his willingness to deviate from accepted rules of the game.