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Biden’s summer travel schedule has one missing stop- POLITICO | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack | #hacking | #aihp

With help from Connor O’Brien

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President JOE BIDEN is hitting the road this summer, racking up miles on multiple stops in Europe and the Middle East — plus, presumably, the occasional sojourn to his beachfront home in Delaware.

The international trips offer a roadmap of what’s on the administration’s mind, and while China remains its stated long-term challenge, there are plenty of immediate fires to put out elsewhere around the globe.

Biden will kick off his travel schedule this month by heading to Germany on June 25 to attend a Group of Seven summit. He’ll then fly to Madrid on June 28 for the annual gathering of NATO member states. In Mid-July, he’ll visit Israel and Saudi Arabia for the first time as president, two more stops where some pretty delicate diplomacy will be in order.

The visits will almost certainly be dominated by Russia’s war in Ukraine and the question of how to contain the unpredictable VLADIMIR PUTIN, who isn’t showing any sign of ending his invasion. Instead, the autocrat has taken to comparing himself to Peter the Great, whose imperial ambitions Putin appears to have decided might suit him, as well.

One locale not on Biden’s official agenda — at least not yet — is Kyiv. The American president is one of a rapidly dwindling number of NATO heads of state not to have visited the Ukrainian capital since Russia’s invasion in February. A few of the final holdouts — France’s EMMANUEL MACRON, Italy’s MARIO DRAGHI, Germany’s OLAF SCHOLZ and possibly Romania’s KLAUS IOHANNIS — are expected to meet Ukrainian President VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY there on Thursday.

That visit would come as the European Commission assesses whether Ukraine should be granted EU candidate status — a prospect Iohannis called “a correct solution from a moral, economic, and security perspective” after meeting with Macron in Romania today. The French president’s trip there is part of an announced three-day tour that also includes Moldova.

Macron, who has taken some heat for suggesting that Russia shouldn’t be “humiliated” in Ukraine, opted for a slightly different rhetorical approach today, suggesting the West should “have the common sense to say that we are not waging war against Russia.”

“The only desirable outcome of the conflict is either a Ukrainian military victory or, at some point, a negotiation,” he said, “because there will have been a ceasefire, which could allow for an agreement between Ukraine and Russia.”

Biden taking the train to Kyiv while on the continent for NATO and allied summits would likely be too predictable a move, and getting to the Ukrainian capital is still a complicated, time-consuming and dangerous process. American and European officials who have made the trek have had to fly to Poland, convoy to the border, and get on a train for the long journey East. It’s not an easy route for anyone, particularly a 79-year-old.

So this summer, Biden might just stick to Rehoboth Beach, instead.

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