Biden is heading to Europe. A king and a war are on his agenda

Jul 8, 2023, 7:17 AM

FILE - Britain's Prince Charles, left, greets the President of the United States Joe Biden ahead of...

FILE - Britain's Prince Charles, left, greets the President of the United States Joe Biden ahead of their bilateral meeting during the Cop26 summit at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow, Scotland, Nov. 2, 2021. Biden will spend four days in three nations next week as he travels through Europe tending to alliances that have been tested by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. His first stop is London, where he'll meet with King Charles III and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. (Jane Barlow/Pool Photo via AP, File)

(Jane Barlow/Pool Photo via AP, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The first stop is London, where Biden will meet with King Charles III for the first time since his Lithuania. Alliance leaders will debate the war and revise plans for dealing with Russian aggression.

The final stop is in Helsinki, where Biden is expected to celebrate the expanding alliance, with Finland as the newest member of NATO.

His national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said the trip would “showcase the president’s leadership on the world stage.”

A look at Biden’s agenda and the issues he will face:


Biden arrives in London on Sunday night is expected to have a full schedule of meetings Monday.

“There’s always a lot to talk about with the U.K.,” said Max Bergmann, a former State Department official who leads the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Biden will hold talks with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at 10 Downing St. Sunak is facing an election by the end of next year. His Conservative Party is lagging badly behind the opposition in opinion polls.

Despite Sunak’s shaky political standing, he has fostered close ties with Biden and it will be their sixth meeting since Sunak took office last October.

Bergmann said Sunak’s tenure has been a nice change of pace after “there were some concerns about Boris Johnson,” one of Sunak’s predecessors, “being a loose cannon.”

Biden will visit the king at Windsor Castle, a royal residence outside London. Biden did not attend Charles’ coronation — first lady Jill Biden went in his place — so this will be their first encounter since then.

They’re expected to discuss climate change, an issue that has been a focus for both leaders, and how to finance initiatives to address the problem.


Biden will spend two days in the capital of Lithuania, which is hosting the annual NATO summit. He will participate in meetings with leaders and deliver a speech from Vilnius University.

The alliance has been reinvigorated by the war in Ukraine, and members have been pouring military hardware into the country to help repel Russia’s invasion.

Biden on Friday defended what he said was a “difficult decision” to provide a track record for causing many civilian casualties.

For Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, the summit “will send a clear message: NATO stands united, and Russia’s aggression will not pay.”

But NATO has also struggled to bridge divides over important issues. Finland was welcomed into the alliance this year, but Sweden’s membership has been blocked by Turkey and Hungary.

There are also disagreements over how quickly to extend an invitation to Ukraine to join NATO.

Countries on NATO’s eastern flank want to move quickly, viewing it as a way to deter Russian aggression. The U.S. and others advocate a more cautious approach.

One issue has already been settled, at least for the time being. Stoltenberg’s term has been extended for a year because members could not agree on a new leader.

Sen. Thom Tillis, who will attend the summit, likened the alliance to a gathering of dozens of family members who bicker and clash but nonetheless remain united.

“At the end of the day, you know you’re family,” said Tillis, R-N.C.

Tillis is leading a bipartisan delegation along with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., who said NATO is more powerful than before.

“It’s the strongest military alliance in our history, and I think it only has gotten stronger as a result of U.S. leadership, as the result of Stoltenberg’s leadership and as the result of the threat from Vladimir Putin to all of the NATO allies and other countries in Europe and around the world and to the international order,” she said.


After two nights in Vilnius, Biden visits Helsinki. The stop is a bit of a victory lap, but could also be a reminder of unfinished business.

The Nordic country in April became the 31st member of NATO, ending its history of nonalignment and demonstrating how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has backfired in Europe.

Finland was supposed to join alongside its neighbor Sweden, whose admission has stalled. NATO requires unanimous consent of all its members to expand, and the U.S. has been unable to overcome objections from Turkey and Hungary.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson visited the White House on Wednesday and met with Biden to keep up the pressure for membership. But there is little hope that the issue will be resolved in Vilnius.

The White House is billing Biden’s visit to Helsinki as a “U.S.-Nordic Leaders Summit.”

It’s a much different occasion from the last time a U.S. president visited Helsinki five years ago.

During that trip, Donald Trump held a news conference with Putin and brushed off concerns about Russian meddling in the Trump’s election victory.

Now Biden is heading to the city to demonstrate how his administration has held the line against Moscow and expanded Western defenses.


Associated Press writer Lorne Cook in Brussels contributed to this report.

United States News

FILE - Protesters shout before a speaking engagement by Ben Shapiro on the campus of the University...

Associated Press

Few Americans say conservatives can speak freely on college campuses, AP-NORC/UChicago poll shows

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans view college campuses as far friendlier to liberals than to conservatives when it comes to free speech, with adults across the political spectrum seeing less tolerance for those on the right, according to a new poll. Overall, 47% of adults say liberals have “a lot” of freedom to express their views […]

8 hours ago

Fencer Kirsten Hawkes poses for a portrait at a fencing studio Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023, in San Dieg...

Associated Press

Forced kiss claim leads to ‘helplessness’ for accuser who turned to Olympics abuse-fighting agency

DENVER (AP) — When Kirsten Hawkes, a one-time elite fencer, reached out to her childhood coach for advice about starting her own fencing club, their meeting turned awkward right away. It began, she said, with an unwanted kiss on the lips when the two met at a bar during a fencing tournament in Minneapolis last […]

8 hours ago

FILE - President Joe Biden and California Gov. Gavin Newsom wait for reporters to leave the room du...

Associated Press

California governor to name Laphonza Butler, former Kamala Harris adviser, to Feinstein Senate seat

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom will name Laphonza Butler, a Democratic strategist and adviser to Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign, to fill the vacant U.S. Senate seat held by the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a spokesman in his office said Sunday. In choosing Butler, Newsom fulfilled his pledge to appoint a Black woman […]

9 hours ago

File - The Southern University Human Jukebox marching band warms up before the 2023 National Battle...

Associated Press

Federal student loan payments are starting again. Here’s what you need to know

Federal student loan borrowers will need to start making payments again this month after a three-year-plus pause due to the pandemic.

9 hours ago

FILE - Former President Donald Trump speaks in Clinton Township, Mich., Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023. ...

Associated Press

Donald Trump says he will be in courtroom for New York trial scrutinizing his business practices

NEW YORK (AP) — With control over some of his most prized real estate holdings in jeopardy, former President Donald Trump says he will make a rare, voluntary trip to court Monday for the start of a civil trial in a lawsuit that has already resulted in a judge ruling that he committed fraud in […]

10 hours ago

Associated Press

A woman who fled the Maui wildfire on foot has died after weeks in a hospital burn unit

HONOLULU (AP) — A woman who escaped a wildfire that destroyed Hawaii community by running through a burning field has died after spending more than seven weeks in a hospital burn unit. Laurie Allen died Friday at Straub Medical Center in Honolulu, according to a gofundme page set up for her and her husband, Perry […]

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.


Ignite Digital

How to unlock the power of digital marketing for Phoenix businesses

All businesses around the Valley hopes to maximize their ROI with current customers and secure a greater market share in the digital sphere.



Here are the biggest tips to keep your AC bill low this summer

PHOENIX — In Arizona during the summer, having a working air conditioning unit is not just a pleasure, but a necessity. No one wants to walk from their sweltering car just to continue to be hot in their home. As the triple digits hit around the Valley and are here to stay, your AC bill […]

Biden is heading to Europe. A king and a war are on his agenda