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WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Joe Biden departs for Britain on Wednesday on his first trip abroad since taking office, an eight-day mission that ends with a summit with Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
Biden’s first stop late Wednesday will be an address to U.S. troops stationed in Britain, and the next day he sits down with British Prime Minster Boris Johnson. The two men will meet a day ahead of the Group of Seven leaders’ summit.
NewsNation will livestream Biden’s remarks to the U.S. troops in the player above.
The G-7 summit is expected to be dominated by vaccine diplomacy, trade, climate and an initiative for rebuilding infrastructure in the developing world. U.S. officials see that effort as a way to counter China’s growing influence.
“In this moment of global uncertainty, as the world still grapples with a once-in-a-century pandemic,” Biden wrote in a Washington Post op-ed previewing his diplomatic efforts, “this trip is about realizing America’s renewed commitment to our allies and partners, and demonstrating the capacity of democracies to both meet the challenges and deter the threats of this new age.”
On the final day of the June 11-13 summit, Biden and his wife Jill will visit Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle. The 78-year-old Biden met the queen back in 1982 when he was a U.S. senator from Delaware.
Afterwards Biden travels to Brussels for talks with leaders of NATO and the European Union. The agenda is expected to be dominated by Russia, China and the perennial issue of getting NATO allies to contribute more to the common defense.
His summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 16 in Geneva is the capstone to the trip, an opportunity to raise U.S. concerns directly with Putin about ransomware attacks emanating from Russia, Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine and a host of other issues.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters that Biden hoped his G7 and NATO meetings will bolster a sense of allied unity as he goes into his session with Putin.
“The trip, at its core, will advance the fundamental thrust of Joe Biden’s foreign policy,” said national security adviser Jake Sullivan, “to rally the world’s democracies to tackle the great challenges of our time.”
No major breakthroughs are expected from the summit. Sullivan said Biden would press Putin on U.S. priorities.
The two sides were negotiating whether to hold a joint news conference.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.