Biden wraps up six-day trip to Europe

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President Joe Biden

On Thursday, President Joe Biden will meet with the media before departing back home after a six-day trip to Europe that has mainly been overshadowed by domestic difficulties.

Biden has set a news conference for 8 a.m. EDT where he is anticipated to take questions on global issues like the conflict in Ukraine and ties between Russia and the West. He’ll probably be questioned about domestic matters as well, like the economy, abortion rights, and the most recent committee evidence from January 6.

After a three-day conference where the U.S. and its NATO allies sought to demonstrate their determination against Russian President Vladimir Putin and the situation in Ukraine, Biden will answer questions from the media.

That’s a wrap. Here’s what you missed

  • The “most substantial and direct threat” to the peace and security of NATO members, according to the organization’s top officials, is Russia. They also vowed to further up their assistance for Ukraine.
  • In order to increase American military power in eastern Europe, Biden promised to increase rotational deployments to the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania as well as maintain a permanent presence in Poland.
  • The United States also announced that it would station two more destroyers in Spain, send two more F-35 squadrons to the United Kingdom, and enhance defense capabilities in Germany and Italy.
  • Biden spoke with the heads of the world’s economic superpowers at the Group of Seven conference in Germany before making his way to Spain on Tuesday.
  • Over the course of two and a half days, G7 leaders talked about measures to support Ukraine fend off a Russian onslaught and made progress toward regulating the amount that nations can pay for Russian oil as a strategy to cut off Putin’s funding and lower gas costs.
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The latest

  • Speaking before his news conference, President Biden will make a statement at a meeting of the North Atlantic Council, which is the decision-making body for NATO.
  • NATO enlargement: The alliance’s leaders have extended formal invitations to Sweden and Finland to join. The invitation was issued when Turkey’s opposition to the participation of the Nordic countries was removed. Because the legislatures of all 30 NATO nations must vote to accept their membership, final approval could still be months away.
  • Food safety: On Wednesday, Biden and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoan met outside the NATO conference. In addition to praising Erdoan’s efforts to address food shortages brought on by the conflict in Ukraine, Biden hailed the Turkish president for removing his opposition to Finland and Sweden joining the NATO alliance.

US considering sale of fighter jets to Turkey

In advance of a meeting between Vice President Biden and the President of Turkey in Madrid, the United States expressed its support on Wednesday for the sale of brand-new F-16 fighter fighters to Turkey.

Following a phone call from Biden to Erdogan, Turkey, which had been preventing Sweden and Finland from applying to join NATO, dropped its opposition on the first day of the conference.

An official claimed to reporters traveling with Biden in Madrid that the United States had made no concessions to Turkey in exchange for its suspension of objections. Later that day, when asked about the potential sale of F-16 fighters, the president remained silent.

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What they’re saying

  • According to Celeste Wallander, an assistant secretary at the Department of Defense, “The United States supports Turkey’s modernisation of its fighter fleet because that is a contribution to NATO security and, therefore, American security.”
  • Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said in an interview at the NATO summit that “it took the other countries, like the United States, to be at the table to talk about other concerns on Turkey’s mind to finally complete the deal.”
  • Durbin said that he would support the sale of fighter jets to Turkey if a deal was reached as a result of American agreement to do so.
    Putin “could not have envisaged that NATO would be much stronger after his invasion, in my opinion, because of Finland and Sweden’s entrance, which changes the calculation of NATO protection,” he said.