Joe Biden is already aboard the Air Force One plane flying to Europe. As highlighted by the US media, the president’s visit to the old continent is “one of the most important trips of the head of state in recent years” as Biden “will assume the leadership of Western countries”. The President of the United States should encourage allies to take further action against Russia. He will also visit Poland, including with President Andrzej Duda.
Joe Biden has ruled out travel to Ukraine, but with European allies he must look for new ways to end the war
The White House itself ruled out Joe Biden’s visit to Ukraine after local leaders said it would be a potent symbol during the war. Instead, it will “make its most direct efforts to unite the West during the war, picking up its counterparts at a critical juncture in the crisis.” Upon his arrival, the US president will coordinate with his allies military aid to Ukraine and new sanctions against Russia. A new option it is considering is targeting hundreds of members of the Russian Duma, the lower house of parliament.
Just before departure, Joe Biden was asked by the RMF FM correspondent in the US, Paweł Żuchowski, what he plans to tell the European leaders: – I will say everything I want to say when I get there. When asked about the possibility of Russia using chemical weapons, he said it is “real”.
Before Biden’s trip to Brussels, a US official said the Pentagon “provided the White House with a range of options for potential additional US troops in Eastern Europe,” CNN reports.
Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, said the day before the US president’s departure he would make a plethora of new announcements, including “working together to strengthen European energy security and ultimately reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas,” as well as on “changes in attitudes of NATO forces on the eastern flank”.
This is the plan of the visit of the President of the United States to Europe and Poland. Biden took the ‘atomic case’ with him
Joe Biden’s first stop is in Brussels, where he will participate in the next meetings. NATO holds a hastily organized emergency summit at which Biden will reaffirm its support for Article 5 of the Alliance’s Charter, which requires all members to collectively defend themselves if a member is attacked. The President of the United States will also participate in the meetings of the European Union and the G7, which includes the richest democracies in the world.
On Friday, Biden will fly to Poland and meet with Polish officials. On Saturday, Biden is due to talk to the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda. Jake Sullivan said Biden’s trip to Poland is an important opportunity to “meet a frontline and very sensitive ally”. Poland is also home to a growing number of US troops, and Sullivan has suggested Biden could visit them as well.
As Joe Biden was on his way to the helicopter that took him to the airport, a black suitcase caught the attention of reporters. A military aide carried a “president’s rescue bag,” also known as a “soccer ball,” that contains the codes for firing a nuclear weapon before boarding Marine One. However, this is nothing special. “Football” is always in the same plane, helicopter, car, and even elevator as the President. When the president is home, the briefcase is hidden in a safe place in the White House. It first appeared during the reign of John Kennedy, just after the Cuban Missile Crisis in the early 1960s.
The so-called football, ie the briefcase of the President of the United States with the codes for the nuclear weapons. Photo Patrick Semansky / AP Photo