In this interview given to Cyba Audi from Asharq Business Bloomberg, Christof Rühl, member of the Advisory Board of Crystol Energy and a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, commented on Biden’s recent visit to the European Union.
Christof said that Biden’s visit to Europe includes two main messages: first, the reconciliation and revival of the US-EU relations, and the second the stressing on the careful stance of the US-EU alliance towards China, which is considered a serious adversary by the US.
With respect to the latest NATO summit, Christof indicated that an important development took place this time, namely that China is considered a serious potential opponent. This perception of China was absent in the 2010 Strategic Concept “Active Engagement, Modern Defense”, and was not mentioned only until 2019. However, Christof pointed out the partial divergence between NATO members. Europe, led by Germany and France, is more reliant economically on China and wants to distinguish between the political and economic pathways. The end result of the meeting, however, was more in favor of the United States’ approach.
Christof added that in that latest NATO summit, there was a clear desire to show the presence of a united front, and that they can defend themselves against any threat (hinting to China and Russia).
Christof finally evaluated Biden’s European tour by stating that Biden’s administration, unlike the former one, has a clear agenda and coordinated approach i.e. restoring the relationship with NATO members, withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan, and fixing the US-Russian relationships. Christof personally respects Biden’s strategy since he is implementing what he had previously promised. However, the question remains: How will this approach evolve in the coming years?