President Joe Biden landed in Germany on Saturday, where he will attend the G-7 summit with leaders of key US allies to discuss their united front against Russia and the troubling weakness in the global economy.
Biden flew from Washington to Munich, then boarded the Marine One helicopter for the short flight to the summit venue, Schloss Elmau. His first talks during his three-day stay will take place on Sunday with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
The leaders of the seven wealthy democracies, the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, will meet in a luxurious castle in the German Alps.
Then they all head to Madrid for a NATO summit.
Both sessions will take place in the shadow of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but also a global surge in inflation, recession fears and the ever-increasing challenge of containing China while avoiding open conflict. .
Biden has received widespread praise for restoring American leadership to his European and Asian alliances. The response to Russia in particular has seen strong transatlantic unity, both in arming the Ukrainians and imposing powerful economic sanctions against Moscow.
But Biden, like several European leaders, is facing pressure at home from the fallout from sanctions, which have helped drive up fuel prices, placing a heavy drag on economies emerging from the COVID-19 shutdown.
Biden is also burdened at home by a tense political situation ahead of November’s midterm elections that could see Republicans regain control of Congress for the next two years.
A Supreme Court ruling on Friday to end decades of federal protections for abortion access opened up a new battleground, with Biden calling on voters to make it a key issue in November.
He returned to the issue on Saturday before leaving for Europe, saying the Supreme Court had made a “shocking ruling”.
“I know how painful and devastating the decision is for so many Americans,” he said.