President Joe Biden arrived in England on Wednesday for his first foreign trip as commander-in-chief.
Biden departed Washington from Joint Base Andrews at about 8 a.m. ET on Wednesday morning for his eight-day foreign trip to Europe.
One of Biden's first stops on the trip was at Royal Air Force Mildenhall in the U.K. He and first lady Jill Biden delivered remarks to U.S. personnel who are stationed there.
During his speech, Biden said he looks forward to speaking with Russian President Vladimir Putin and he plans to "meet with Mr. Putin to let him know what I want him to know."
Biden has set the stakes for his trip in sweeping terms, believing that the West must publicly demonstrate it can compete economically with China as the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.
He'll meet with other leaders in the Group of Seven countries at the G7 Summit in London later this week. Biden will then travel to Brussels to meet with EU leaders and officials in the NATO bloc.
The trip ends with a summit with Putin — a crucial meeting that comes as tensions heighten between the U.S. and Russia. Biden's meeting will come following last year's SolarWinds hack, which intelligence officials believe may have been conducted by the Russian government or actors in Russia.
"We don't meet with people only when we agree," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said when the meeting was set. "We view it as a vital part of our vital interests."
The summit with Putin, which will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, is scheduled for June 16.