Tension with Putin and a message of ‘America is back’: Biden’s first foreign trip as president

President Biden gestures from Air Force One as he prepares to leave Geneva, Switzerland.
President Biden gestures from Air Force One as he prepares to leave Geneva after his meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.
(Associated Press)

President Biden, on his first overseas trip as president, aimed to repair crucial ties with U.S. allies after his predecessor’s isolationist policies.

He started with the Group of 7 wealthy democracies Friday, then moved to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, an alliance that has worked to preserve global peace since World War II.

“Everyone in that room today understood the shared appreciation that, quite frankly, America is back,” Biden said Monday in Brussels after meetings with NATO member leaders.

He met with the European Council on Tuesday, and ended his trip Wednesday with a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

That high-stakes summit came some three years after President Trump met Putin in Helsinki, Finland, and publicly backed the ex-KGB operative’s denial of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election over the conclusions of U.S. intelligence. Biden, in contrast, Biden said he was frank with the Russian leader about the Kremlin’s trampling of human rights and democracy.