How can Joe Biden mobilize the West against the ukrainian war, when his diplomatic authority and political credit are diminished? However, this is what the president of the United States wants to do in the next summits of the G7 and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
The 79-year-old Democrat travels to Germany on Saturday, which is hosting the G7 summit (United States, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, Canada).
He will then go to Spain, where the Western military alliance is meeting.
“It doesn’t matter where I go in the world (to meet with other leaders), but guess what? I tell them ‘America is back’. They look at me and say: ‘Until when?’” Biden recently said during a union rally.
The question can also be posed as follows: How long will Joe Biden be able to animate the response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with massive arms deliveries and harsh economic sanctions?
This, while the prices of energy and food are skyrocketing around the world, as a result of the war, the sanctions against Moscow and the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19.
“At some point, it will become a game of patience: what the Russians can put up with and what Europe is willing to put up with.”considered the president on Tuesday.
Also what the United States is willing to put up with. Ukraine now occupies much less space in the local television news than the risk of a recession, inflation and the record price of gasoline.
And Biden pays with an anemic approval rating, around 40%.
Many pollsters are predicting a slap in the face for Democrats in the November midterm elections.
If this happens, the president would lose his slim parliamentary majority and reconsider the issue of his candidacy for the presidency in 2024, which, for the moment, is his declared ambition.
Until now, Biden has managed, on the international scene, to make these disappointments forget.
In Germany, it will “concrete proposals to increase pressure on Russia”said a senior US official on Wednesday, without giving further details.
The same source indicated that the issue of energy, whose cost is skyrocketing, will once again occupy “the center of the discussions” in the G7, a body that emerged in response to the oil crises of the 1970s.
But the atmosphere has changed since Biden’s last tour of Europe in March, in which Westerners reaffirmed their unity.
The conflict in Ukraine has taken another turn, concentrating in the east of the country and turning into a war of position.
“The initial triumphalism, when we gave (the Ukrainian army) small arms and fairly cheap anti-tank equipment, must lead to more solid and lasting support” at the military level, underlines Max Bergmanof the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It will be really difficult for European armies. And it will be a challenge for” USA.
Another challenge for Biden will be to maintain NATO’s new momentum, and perhaps take advantage of his time in Madrid to unravel a complicated situation.
In effect, Turkey is threatening to block Sweden and Finland from joining NATO, something Washington ardently defends.
However, a senior official assured that the White House is “optimistic” about the ability to find a consensus with Ankara.
On the other hand, Biden wants to mount a united front for his top strategic priority: China.
According to the White House, this will result in the adoption by NATO of a new “strategic concept” that mentions for the first time the challenges imposed by Beijing.
According to the same source, the G7 should issue warnings about China’s trade practices.
The major powers also want to launch a “association” in infrastructure for developing countries, awash with heavy Chinese investment.