July 27, 2021

At NATO summit, Biden wants to insist on Russian and Chinese threats, Macron on disarmament

Nothing but hugs and smiles: keeping the memory (« terrible », according to one of the participants) of the summit which took place at the same place in 2018, the heads of state and government of the thirty NATO member countries want to stick to the simple pleasure of reuniting between European allies and an America returned to better feelings towards them, Monday, June 14, in Brussels.

Welcoming President Joe Biden before he meets, the next day, the leaders of Brussels institutions for a summit between Europe and the United States, the allies wish to turn the page of four years marked by the protests of Donald Trump against Europeans, and Germany in particular, accused of living on the hooks of their protector.

There is no longer any question, for the moment at least, of fearing a break in the transatlantic link, of seeing Washington slam the door of the Alliance, or threatening to renounce Article 5 of the treaty, which signs the members’ commitment to a collective defense.

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This 28e summit of history, called to last only two hours and thirty minutes, therefore promises to be above all that of a return to calm while the previous one, in London, in 2019, was centered on the idea of the ” brain death “ of NATO, denounced by Emmanuel Macron. This time, the French president is limited to pleading for “A requalification of common values ​​and of the concept” of the Alliance.

On the American side, as confirmed by a diplomatic source, it is the slogan “America is back” and serenity that must be privileged. “This does not mean that President Biden ignores certain differences with the Europeans as to his willingness to be very firm with regard to Moscow and to awaken his allies to China’s military, technological and political threats”, indicates the same interlocutor.

“So many subjects bring us together”

In the European camp, where some have little tasted the recent decision of Joe Biden to confirm, without prior consultation, the withdrawal by September 11 of American troops from Afghanistan, we also want to try to put aside what raises questions. , or what opposes. “It would really not be opportune, when so many subjects bring us together”, notes a diplomat.

The Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, is therefore preparing for a synthesis exercise on the subjects of convergence and a simple mention of what he would have liked to put forward, but which will be relegated to the background. Namely the idea of ​​a common financing for an increasing budget of its organization (Paris rebels) or its project of “NATO 2030”, contested because of its exclusive focus on the Russian and Chinese threats and being able to call into question. cause the rule of consensus.

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