U.S. President Joe Biden began his final day at the G-20 summit, dealing with another crisis surrounding Russia’s war in Ukraine — this time involving NATO allies.
The president will hold an emergency roundtable meeting with world leaders in Bali on Wednesday morning local time, according to the White House website. The talks came after an explosion in Poland killed two people.
Poland’s foreign ministry said late Tuesday that a “Russian-made missile” landed in the village of Przewodów. The ministry statement did not specify the type of missile or where it was launched. Biden had earlier spoken with the Polish president and the NATO secretary general.
The Russian Defense Ministry called reports of Russian missiles landing in Poland a “deliberate provocation” and denied any attacks on targets near the Ukraine-Poland border.
Biden joined the roundtable with leaders from the Group of Seven and NATO. The meeting included Biden and leaders from Canada, the European Union, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Japan, officials said.
Reporters were briefly ushered into the room to see the leaders seated at the table. Asked if he could provide an update on the blast, Biden said: “No.”
In an earlier call with Polish President Andrzej Duda, Biden “expressed his deep condolences for the loss of life in eastern Poland earlier this evening,” the White House said in a release.
“President Duda described Poland’s ongoing assessment of the bombing that took place in the east of the country near the Ukrainian border. President Biden extended the full support and assistance of the United States to the Polish investigation.”
Biden “reaffirmed America’s strong commitment to NATO,” with the leaders agreeing to keep their teams “in close contact to determine appropriate next steps as the investigation progresses.”
At the summit, Biden and most of the G20 members will sign a statement condemning Russia’s war in Ukraine “and the human suffering it has caused to Ukrainians and, as a result, families in developing countries facing food and fuel insecurity,” A senior administration official who previewed the statement said the expression of condemnation was the culmination of months of diplomacy between G20 leaders. However, it was unclear which countries would sign the statement.
Biden initially worried that his broad foreign policy efforts could be overshadowed by his predecessor’s third bid for the presidency.
Biden’s final diplomatic outing on Wednesday – which included planting a tree with other leaders and meeting Britain’s new prime minister – contrasted sharply with former President Donald Trump’s widely expected presidential campaign announcement in his home state of Florida, which The effort could set the stage for a two-year political struggle just as the current commander-in-chief is 10,000 miles away from the White House.
Biden is expected to join other G20 leaders in a mangrove tree planting event before starting the long trip back to Washington. He will also hold his first meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak since taking office last month.
Late last month, Sunak succeeded Liz Truss, who is now the shortest-serving prime minister in British history, as prime minister. Truss resigned after six weeks in office, plunging Britain into political and economic turmoil. Sunak is the first person of color and the first Hindu to lead Britain. He is also the youngest person to take office in more than 200 years.
Biden’s return to Washington on Wednesday night comes amid a shift in political power as politicians continue to vie for leadership of the next Congress.
While CNN is not predicting which party will represent the U.S. House of Representatives, Republicans have elected Kevin McCarthy as their nominee for House Speaker. In the Senate, Republicans are scheduled to vote on leadership on Wednesday. Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida challenged Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The president also returned with the political winds in his favor, defying the historic odds of keeping Democrats in the Senate and preventing a Republican sweep of the House.
Still, Congress faces more political challenges that could cause headaches for Democrats and the Biden administration.
Congress has until Dec. 16 to agree on funding terms to avoid a government shutdown. A debt-ceiling battle is also looming — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he plans to resolve the issue with McConnell “very soon.”