BRUSSELS – On day two of his four day European tour, President Obama arrived in Brussels this afternoon where he is set to participate in a G7 summit.
The G7 leaders are meeting in Brussels today and Thursday with one old partner noticeably missing: Russian President Vladimir Putin. The leaders were initially supposed to gather for a G8 Summit in Sochi, Russia, this very week, but the leaders decided to ditch the plan and meet without him after Russian aggression in Ukraine.
After several hours of downtime at his hotel in Brussels, Obama traveled to the Royal Palace of Belgium to meet with King Philippe and Belgian Prime Minister Elio di Rupo. President Obama then went to the European Council-Justus Lipsius Building for a working dinner meeting with G7 leaders.
Other leaders attending the dinner: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, French President François Hollande, European Commission president José Manuel Barroso and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
The White House said Ukraine would dominate much of the conversation at the G7 dinner tonight. The G7 leaders are slated to meet for plenary sessions Thursday that will include discussion of energy security and the climate.
After the G7 meetings wrap up Thursday, Obama flies to Paris, where he will dine with Hollande, who is also scheduled to have dinner separately with Putin on the same night.