BEIJING: This past weekend, many people in the US and Europe were nervous about the possibility of the "first war of 2022" breaking out on the Russia-Ukraine border.

To make things worse, the US Department of State issued a travel warning to Americans, and the US and some European countries started to supply weaponry to Ukraine.

Also, the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier strike group has planned to lead a large-scale NATO naval exercise in the Mediterranean Sea, beginning January 24.There remain differences between the US and Europe on how to resolve the current Russia-Ukraine crisis. US President Joe Biden publicly admitted at a press conference on the first anniversary of his administration that there are differences within NATO on how to respond to Russia's "minor incursion."

Biden's statement was hotly debated, for it is not only deeply hurting Ukraine, but also exposing the rift within NATO, especially between the US and its European allies. The Biden administration, failing largely in domestic affairs, wanted to use its "success" in bridging the transatlantic alliance as a highlight of its political achievements, but it ended up being botched.

Admittedly, most European countries are highly dependent on the US-led NATO to provide security, which is unlikely to change fundamentally in the foreseeable future.

As a result, Europe follows or submits to the US in many ways, whether it wants to or not.Europe is counting on the US to take the lead in solving any security problems it faces.

Therefore, Europe is happy to see Biden coming into power after the 2020 US elections. After all, the four years during the Trump administration was a torment for Europe. A derailed US, in any case, will be difficult to be trusted by Europe.

When Biden said "America is back," some Europeans, the pro-US factions, in particular, felt glad and the transatlantic relations seemed to have warmed up for a while.

However, the Europeans have always been a bit on edge as nobody knows whether the Biden administration will become a "lame duck" after the midterm elections, or whether Trump will stage a comeback.

Although the US and Europe share common interests, fundamental differences still exist in their strategic goals. The US' hasty troop withdrawal from Afghanistan last year and its betrayal of Europe by forming an AUKUS security pact with the UK and Australia are still fresh in Europe's memory.