Joe Biden insists that US and Europe are 'tight'
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Mr Biden touched down in the UK yesterday evening, and later met with US troops to discuss his aims for his first foreign trip as President. After Mr Biden attends the G7 and the NATO ministerial, he will meet with the Russian President in Geneva, Switzerland.
Speaking at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, Mr Biden rallied the troops and set out his stance in regard to Mr Putin.
He said: “I’m headed to the G7, then to the NATO ministerial and then to meet with Mr Putin to let him know what I want him to know.
“We’re not seeking conflict with Russia. We want a stable predictable relationship.
“I’ve been clear: the United States will respond in a robust and meaningful way if the Russian government engages in harmful activities.
“We’ve already demonstrated that. I’m going to communicate that there are consequences for violating the sovereignty of democracies in the United States and Europe and elsewhere.”
The US President told soldiers he is determined to rebuild trans-Atlantic ties and reframe relations with Russia.
Before flying to the UK, Mr Biden told reporters he will be “making clear to Putin and and to China that Europe and the United States are tight”.
When Asked by reporters if his meeting with the Russian leader would include cybersecurity, Mr Biden said: “Who knows? It’s going to be a subject of our discussion.”
The two leaders will meet on June 16, and are expected to discuss recent military escalations in Ukraine, among other issues.
Speaking to the troops in Suffolk, Mr Biden also praised his European allies, saying it is “the key to American advantage in the world”.
He added: “They’ve made the world safer for all of us and they are how we are going to meet the challenges of today, which are changing rapidly. We’re going to meet it though from a position of strength.”
Mr Biden also grew emotional when recalling his son Beau Biden, who died in 2015 and who was also a major in the Delaware National Guard.
He said: “I only wish my major was here to thank you as well.”
The Prime Minister will meet with Mr Biden later today before the G7 commences.
Ahead of the talks with Mr Johnson, Mr Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, warned the president harbours “very deep” concerns on an issue provoked by Brexit.
Mr Sullivan said the president believes the post-Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol is “critical” to ensuring that the Good Friday Agreement is protected, as Britain and the EU try to resolve the issue of checks in the Irish Sea.
The adviser told the BBC both sides must continue with negotiations and added: “Whatever way they find to proceed must, at its core, fundamentally protect the gains of the Good Friday Agreement and not imperil that.
“And that is the message that President Biden will send when he is in Cornwall.”
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