Biden will attend the NATO summit, but he faces new divisions over Ukraine.

A year ago, NATO held a provocative summit in Madrid, sending a strong signal to Russia. A year later, President Biden will travel to Europe again on July 10, aiming to evoke a similar sense of shared mission. But as the conflict in Ukraine has slogged into its second year, growing fissures could make unity more difficult to achieve.

Biden plans to visit three countries this time for a period of 5 days. He is prepared to welcome Finland’s recent accession to NATO, but will also have to grapple with thorny differences over whether to expand the alliance further. Two increasingly divisive issues are expected to dominate the Lithuanian summit: Ukraine’s desire to join NATO and Sweden’s stalled accession process.

The report pointed out that Biden’s ability to unite NATO to deal with Russia has become the key to his re-election bid for the presidency. But with Turkey preventing Sweden from joining, Ukraine’s counteroffensive stalled and new tensions over Biden’s decision to supply Ukraine with cluster munitions, his talks in Europe could become visibly contentious.

Of particular concern are Ukraine’s efforts to join NATO. Some allies – including summit host Lithuania – welcomed the idea, while countries including the US and Germany warned it would lead to an immediate escalation of the confrontation with Russia, potentially reaching the level of nuclear war.

According to reports, Biden also needs to consider the domestic political situation in the United States. Many of his Republican opponents, including former President Trump and Florida Gov. DeSantis, have expressed concern about U.S. support for Ukraine indefinitely, and even some Democrats worry that the public will grow weary of U.S. investment in the conflict .

According to reports, Biden will start his trip on the 10th, with a short stop in London. He will meet British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London and hold his first face-to-face meeting with King Charles III since his coronation.

Then, he will attend the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania on the 11th and hold talks with NATO leaders on the 12th. Before the talks, Biden will deliver a “significant” speech on his global vision, according to White House officials. He will then travel to Helsinki to celebrate Finland’s accession to NATO and meet with Nordic leaders.

According to reports, White House officials hope that Biden’s trip will send a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that NATO remains committed to supporting Ukraine in the long term. But as the conflict drags on, costing billions of dollars and crippling the global economy, it is increasingly difficult for world leaders to agree.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg recently agreed to a one-year extension, avoiding a potentially bitter conflict over who would succeed him.

Biden is still doing his best to salvage the possibility of Sweden joining NATO. The chances of Turkey and Hungary ratifying Sweden’s accession before the summit are slim, diplomats said.

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