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President Biden will travel to G7 and NATO summits this week to underscore 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 supporting Ukraine against Russia shows signs of effort.
The President travels to Schloss Elmau in southern Germany on 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 would 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 reaffirm the lasting ties between our two countries and our continued coordination on a wide range of global challenges.”
The G7 consists of the United States, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom.
An official said representatives from Argentina, India, Indonesia, Senegal and South Africa will also attend selected sessions as host 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.”
During the G7, the official said, the president will “roll out a concrete set of proposals to increase pressure on Russia and demonstrate our collective support for Ukraine.
“We want to address the impact of Putin’s war on rising prices at home and around the world, including on energy security and food security,” the official said.
“They will strengthen our cooperation on economic issues, cyberspace and quantum and especially the challenges of China.”
The official also announced that the president will make an “official launch” of the U.S. “Global Infrastructure Partnership,” which is set to “lift our low- and middle-income partner countries while promoting U.S. economic competitiveness and national security.”
On June 28, the president travels to Madrid, Spain, for the NATO summit, the fourth since Biden took office.
Biden is scheduled to meet with Spanish President Sanchez as well as the King of Spain ahead of the NATO summit to “check signals”.
Administration officials said Biden’s leadership has “helped revitalize the alliance and make NATO more united and stronger than ever.”
“We are seeing new countries, such as Finland and Sweden, seeking to join the alliance, support for NATO membership and rising defense spending has increased in public opinion,” the official said.
The official said that with regard to Ukraine, one of the “goals” of Russian President Vladimir Putin was to “try to show disagreement.”
“He has clearly failed because our assessment, as I said, is that NATO is stronger and more united than ever,” the official said.
The comments come as Western unity over Ukraine begins to show signs of wear and tear while the war rages for a fourth month. Reports suggest that France, Italy and Germany could hope to begin peace talks with Russia.
French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi traveled to Kiev last week to meet with Zelenskyy.
“Russia, of course, continues to be the most serious and immediate threat to the alliance,” the official said, but NATO also plans to address the challenges coming from China.
Regarding discussions on energy and rising gas prices, the official said Ukraine is expected to be “at the forefront of the talks.”
“I think we expect energy to be very much at the heart of the discussions,” the official said. “The principle formulated by President Biden there – G7 leaders have been articulating since the beginning of Russia’s invasion “has been one of maximizing the pain of Putin’s regime and minimizing emissions back to the rest of the world.”
The official said leaders “are likely to speak out for a set of common values around taking steps to reduce dependence on Russian energy.”
In March, Biden announced a ban on all imports of Russian oil, gas and energy into the United States, targeting the “main artery” of Russia’s economy in the midst of Putin’s war with Ukraine.
Also in March, Biden and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, announced a joint task force to help Europe move away from its dependence on Russian gas.
According to the plan, the United States and other nations will increase exports of liquefied natural gas to Europe by 15 billion cubic meters this year.
In the meantime the U.S. national average for a gallon of gasoline sits close to $ 5. Prior to this year, the highest national gas price average ever recorded by AAA was $ 4.11 per gallon in July 2008.
Biden and his administration have repeatedly accused Putin’s war in Ukraine of sky-high pump prices and US inflation