Leaders from the Group of Seven rich democracies and the NATO alliance will work to increase pressure on Russia over its war in Ukraine next week, while underscoring their continued concerns about China, senior U.S. officials said on Wednesday.
President Joe Biden leaves Saturday to meet with other G7 leaders in southern Germany before heading to Madrid for a summit where NATO will agree new force posture commitments, and Washington will announce steps to strength European security.
Inclusion, for the first time, of leaders from Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand in the NATO summit was aimed at showing that the war in Ukraine had not detracted from Western nations' focus on China, the officials said.
G7 leaders were also expected to address China's "coercive economic practices," which have become even more aggressive in recent years, one of the officials said.
"Russia's war against Ukraine has galvanized our partnerships around the world," a second official said. "It's also showing how Ukraine is not causing us to take our eye off the ball on China. In fact, quite the opposite."
In fact, a new strategic concept to be endorsed by NATO leaders will address threats posed by both Russia and China, the official said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will address both meetings virtually, mapping out his battle plan and the security assistance his country needs to carry it out, U.S. officials said.
Biden will meet bilaterally with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, whose country holds the G7 rotating presidency this year, and would meet in Madrid with Spanish President Pedro Sanchez and the king of Spain, the officials said.