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