Since the end of World War II, the unequal match between Europe and America has reached a point where an increasing number of issues arise with the younger partner for the United States. It is no secret that in a kind of role-playing game, the United States is much stronger than its partners, and no matter what they do, Europe will always be on the sidelines. And in this sense, former President Donald Trump was even better for European politicians to some extent – he left options open for them to play "Mr. Nice Guy". Trump himself was so selfish that any European behavior would appear as a paragon of morality and restraint.
The tables have turned with the election of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States. Instead of Trump's "America First", Washington proclaimed the "America is Back" course. This means that the desire to play a leading part in the transatlantic partnership has now become an obvious priority in US foreign policy. But everything remained the same as a matter of actual practice. It’s fair to say that Biden's arrival in the White House won't leave much room for the Old World in global politics, since the US policy on this axis will keep meeting Washington's interests alone. And the United States will ostensibly do this for the good of Europe and "democracy community" prosperity.
Unlike Trump, the Biden administration does really proclaim a commitment to global institutions and collective decision-making. But in the transatlantic partnership, these decisions will still be made to the benefit of the United States. And if earlier Trump was, mildly speaking, impudent as regards the Europeans, Biden is doing the same, but in a more delicate way. However, that does not alter the particularity of the fact: America has had its own way in the international arena, and it will keep doing so. The just-completed G7 summit in Cornwall, England (June 11-13) and the NATO summit in Brussels (July 14) have demonstrated this for all intents and purposes.
Just look as the decisions on Russia and China, which meet the interests of rather Washington than Europe. It was Moscow and Beijing that were most "criticized" at the summits in Cornwall and Brussels. And this is despite the fact that the stances taken by the United States and separate G7 countries on some points of the "Chinese" agenda did not coincide. For instance, CNN reported Biden urge to condemn the human rights situation in Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), where China, according to the White House, is bringing about repression against the Uyghurs. The US President's proposal was opposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and EU leaders interested in continued cooperation with China. The demarche was quite predictable, since Italy officially joined the Chinese Belt and Road initiative in 2019; and in December 2020, the European Union agreed with Beijing on a major investment agreement (the ratification of which was frozen by the European Parliament on May 20 this year).
However, despite the differences, Washington has eventually brought off its decisions at the G7 summit, and from now on, the transatlantic alliance will apparently work together against China. In this regard, many experts typically note that the most interesting outcome of the G7 Cornwall summit is the realignment of G7 activities to the Washington-proclaimed line of confrontation with Beijing.
It should be noted here that the issue of China and other discussions have almost put Russia on the back burner of G7 leaders' attention. This can be partly explained by the meeting between President Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin due on June 16 in Geneva. Despite this, Moscow still caught it bad at the summit in Cornwall. Thus, the G7 leaders once again urged Russia to "to stop its destabilizing behavior and malign activities, including its interference in other countries’ democratic systems," as well as to "to fulfill its international human rights obligations and commitments."
In a separate paragraph, the Group of Seven called on Russia to withdraw "its troops and equipment from Ukraine's eastern border and on the Crimean peninsula" (Moscow officially denies any logistic support for the DPR and LPR militias, while Crimea is part of Russia following the 2014 referendum under the Russian Constitution – ed. note). The document also states that the G7 leaders consider Russia "a party to the conflict, not a mediator." Moscow, be it noted, has repeatedly denied being a party to the conflict. However, the Cornwall summit final communiqué reads that the G7 countries seek acting together with Moscow in the "areas of common interest" and take interest in a stable and predictable relationship with our country. If only actions by G7 leaders were inconsistent with their statements...
Russia and China were also touched upon at the NATO summit in Brussels. Among other topics were: the new strategic concept of the alliance until 2030, strengthening technological development, combating climate change and threats in cyberspace and outer space. Special priority was accorded to the policy towards the People's Republic of China. At the end of the summit, the participants concluded that China's behavior poses a "systemic challenge" to the international order and affects the alliance's security. In particular, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: "Our ties with Russia are at their lowest point since the end of the Cold War. This is due to Russia's aggressive actions... China’s military buildup, growing influence, and coercive behavior poses challenges to our security."
However, the shared NATO stance on Russia and China is consistent with France, which has declared its readiness for dialogue, namely with Moscow. "Today's discussion (at the NATO summit – ed. note) let us move forward on clarifying our strategy towards Russia: there should be a fastidious dialogue to build a security architecture on the European continent through arms control," Emmanuel Macron said. Earlier, French Defense Minister Florence Parly said Paris did not share the United States' concerns about the growing threat coming from China. It should be noted that France and a number of other EU countries advocate for a European strategic autonomy, i.e. for weakening dependence on the Pentagon.
Thus, the US president has apparently failed to settle all the differences with his European partners during his week-long tour of Europe, so Joe Biden still has a lot of work to do in this regard.