Biden said, at RAF Mildenhall, home of the US Refueling Wing and the site of Biden’s first presidential address on foreign soil.
Biden, who seemed emotional when recalling his late son Beau’s service as a major in the military, spoke forcefully of restoring American alliances in Europe, calling them a cornerstone of global security.
He said he would not back down from his meeting with Putin.
He added, “We do not seek conflict with Russia. We want a stable and predictable relationship. I have been clear, the United States will respond in a strong and meaningful way if the Russian government engages in harmful activities. We have already shown that. I will make clear that there are consequences for violating the sovereignty of democracies.” in the United States, Europe and elsewhere.
Before he meets with Putin in Geneva next week, Biden is holding consultations with European leaders at the Group of Seven in Cornwall and the NATO summit in Brussels.
“Our network of alliances and partnerships is key to America’s advantage in the world and always has been,” Biden said. “It has made the world safer for all of us.”
He set a lofty goal for his first trip abroad, noting that democracy itself was at stake as he worked to convince world leaders that four years after President Donald Trump, the United States’ commitment to transatlantic relations was back for good.
Biden continued, “I believe we are at an inflection point in world history, which is the moment when we must demonstrate that democracies will not only survive, but will excel as we rise to seize the tremendous opportunities of the new era. We must discredit those who believe that the age of democracy is over, as Some of our fellow countries believe. We must debunk a false narrative that decrees issued by tyrants can match the speed and scale of the 21st challenges.”
When Biden began his speech by thanking the assembled members of the American service, Biden returned to his son Beau, who was a major in the Delaware National Guard.