Biden’s agenda in Spain

(CNN) — US President Joe Biden arrived in Spain on Tuesday for the start of a NATO summit expected to focus heavily on Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine after concluding final meetings with leaders. of the G7 in Germany.

Biden landed in Madrid at 9:04 am ET (3:04 pm local time) and was received by King Felipe VI of Spain; by José Manuel Albares Bueno, Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation; by Santiago Cabanas, Spanish ambassador to the United States; and by Julissa Reynoso Pantaleón, ambassador of the United States in Spain.

The president will meet this Tuesday morning with the chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz; the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, and the prime minister of Great Britain, Boris Johnson, on the sidelines of the G7, which takes place in the German region of Bavaria. The US president will then attend the final session of the summit, which focuses on the “Multilateral and Digital Order”, according to the White House, and deliver some remarks.

United States President Joe Biden smiles at the start of lunch with representatives of the Group of Seven during their fifth working session on “Investing in a Better Future: Climate, Energy, Health” on Monday, June 27, 2022. at Elmau Castle in southern Germany during the G7 Summit.

Leaders attending the NATO summit are expected to endorse a new “Strategic Concept” outlining the defense alliance’s goals for the next decade. These priorities include “building resilience against transnational threats, including cyber and climate threats” and “deepening partnerships with democratic partners in Europe and Asia to strengthen the rules-based international order,” the White House says.

The US president will meet on Tuesday with the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, and with King Felipe VI, according to a schedule provided by the White House. Biden and Sánchez are expected to hold a bilateral meeting to discuss coordination on support for Ukraine, as well as combating the global climate crisis, improving global health security, and promoting economic prosperity in Latin America, the Caribbean. and Africa.

The president and first lady Jill Biden will then attend a dinner Tuesday night for leaders attending the NATO summit, to be hosted by King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia.

The summit comes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its fifth month and the United States seeks to keep allies united in its support of Ukraine and continue pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But it also comes as leaders face the threat of a global recession and the Biden administration grapples with runaway inflation and high prices and interest rates at home. Growing economic concerns have raised questions about whether the united Western response to the conflict in Ukraine can be sustained in the long term as the war progresses.

The US assessment of the war increasingly envisions a long and hard battle in eastern Ukraine that will result in heavy personnel losses on both sides. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told G7 leaders during a virtual meeting on Monday that he wants the war in Ukraine to end by the end of 2022, according to a source familiar with his comments.

Video summary of the war Ukraine – Russia: June 27 11:27

US and European officials are also watching the summit for possible progress on Finnish and Swedish applications to join NATO. The two nations formally applied to be part of the security alliance in May, prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said he will not support the proposals and has accused the two countries of harboring members of the militant separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party, also known as the PKK, which Turkey considers a terrorist organization. .

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters at the G7 summit that the goal ahead of the NATO summit in Madrid was to “create as much positive momentum as we can behind the Finnish and Swedish bids.” “, although he warned: “I am not sitting here today suggesting that all issues will be resolved by Madrid.”

The United States is also preparing to announce the purchase of an advanced medium-to-long-range surface-to-air missile defense system requested by the Ukrainian president. The announcement could come as soon as this week and adds to several military assistance packages the United States has provided since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

The United States will also unveil other new sanctions, including those on Russian defense companies and individuals. The leaders agreed to ban imports of new Russian gold, which is the country’s second largest export after energy.

CNN’s Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

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