Biden to Host German Chancellor Scholz Amid Ukraine-Russia War

March 3, 2023

PHOTO: Biden and Scholz, February 2, 2022

President Biden was set to meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the White House on Friday in a show of unity as the Ukraine-Russia war enters its 2nd year.

The pair are expected to discuss the ongoing war in Ukraine at a time when suspicions have risen that China has plans to provide weapons support to Russia.

On Thursday, in a speech to Germany’s parliament, Scholz urged China against any plans it might have to arm Russia.

“My message to Beijing is clear: use your influence in Moscow to urge the withdrawal of Russian troops,” Scholz said—eliciting applause from German lawmakers. “And don’t deliver any weapons to the aggressor Russia.” 

Scholz’s visit comes amid growing concerns in the U.S. and Europe about how long Western support for Ukraine can last. European leaders are reportedly worried about how support will fare as the U.S. enters the 2024 Presidential election season, and with some lawmakers in the Republican Party pushing back against continuing military aid to its ally. 

In the past several weeks Germany, now Europe’s economic leader, has pledged to provide—and in some cases already sent—dozens of Leopard 1 and Leopard 2 tanks to the Ukrainian front and has approved other allied nations’ shipments of Leopard 2 tanks as well. The U.S., meanwhile, has pledged to send dozens of M1 Abrams tanks into Ukraine.

In his speech to Germany’s parliament Thursday, Scholz also said the Western allies were in talks with Kyiv over future security guarantees once the war finally ends.

Meanwhile, National Security Council strategic communications coordinator John Kirby said the White House plans to announce yet another round of military assistance to Ukraine—mostly ammunition for previously provided weapons—on Friday.

Germany, like the U.S., also slapped Russia with a new round of sanctions ahead of the February 24 one-year mark of Russia’s invasion.

In the days before the 2022 invasion, Germany announced that it had also put a halt to the unfinished $11 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which had the potential to transport some 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year that would have been worth more than $15 billion in annual revenue to the Russian state-owned company, Gazprom.

Before leaving Berlin for Washington, reporters asked Scholz why he was meeting with Biden in person rather than via video link.

Scholz replied that he and Biden talk on the phone regularly but meeting face to face “is part of the quality of our relationship.” He said he sees it as necessary in a world “where a lot of things have become very complicated.”

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.



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