BRUSSELS — President Joe Biden has made his entrance at a NATO summit in Brussels during which he aims to consult European allies on efforts to counter provocative actions by China and Russia.
During the conference this week, he'll also highlight the U.S. commitment to the 30-country alliance that was frequently maligned by predecessor Donald Trump.
Biden will use his time at the summit beginning Monday to underscore the U.S. commitment to a provision of the alliance charter that spells out that an attack on one member is an attack on all and is to be met with a collective response.
During a press conference held at the summit Monday, Biden said he had "been an incredibly productive day" of meeting with world leaders and allies. He said they discussed his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"I shared with our allies what I’ll convey to President Putin, that I’m not looking for conflict with Russia, but that we will respond if Russia continues its harmful activities. And we will not fail to defend the transatlantic alliance or stand up for Democratic values," said Biden during his remarks.
He also took questions from reporters, one of which asked what a successful meeting with Putin would look like.
“I’m going to make clear to President Putin that there are areas where we can cooperate, if he chooses. And if he chooses not to cooperate and acts in a way that he has in the past relative to cybersecurity and other activities, then we will respond,” said Biden.
When asked if he should be worried it's too early to meet with Putin, Biden said it's not. He said every leader he’s spoken with at NATO has thanked him for meeting with Putin now.
“I haven’t found a world leader who doesn’t think it’s just soon enough,” said Biden.
Biden said Sunday he views NATO as “vital” to maintaining American security.
Biden's appearance at the NATO summit comes after he attended the Group of Seven summit in England last week. There, he and other leaders of powerful democracies committed to boosting the global vaccine supply by 1 billion doses and agreed to increase the minimum tax rate for large corporations.
Following the conclusion of the NATO summit later this week, Biden will travel to Geneva, Switzerland where he will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The meeting with Putin comes amid heightened tensions and a series of cyberattacks that intelligence officers suggest were conducted by actors in Russia.