The US President Joe Biden will receive German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday, in a meeting that allows the declaration of the unity of the two countries in a message addressed to China and Moscow, which warned of the delivery of more weapons to Kiev.
This is the German chancellor’s second visit to Washington after a first visit in February 2022, and its aim is to reaffirm the close ties of friendship between the two countries, according to the White House.
This visit angers the Kremlin, which warned, before the meeting, that sending new Western arms shipments to Ukraine would only lead to prolonging the conflict.
“We note that the United States continues its policy aimed at increasing arms shipments to Ukraine,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
However, the White House previously revealed that the United States will announce on Friday new military aid to Ukraine, consisting mainly of ammunition.
The German chancellor will be received at 7 pm GMT in the Oval Office, and the two leaders are expected to make brief statements in the presence of journalists.
The visit program doesn’t include a joint press conference, which raised questions in the German press, especially in light of the uncertainty about the delivery of German-made tanks to Ukraine, even though Biden doesn’t automatically hold press conferences when receiving foreign leaders.
The German Chancellor’s spokesman Steffen Hepstrit said that this issue was the subject of exaggeration and extravagance in interpretation, stressing that it was a short working visit that focused mainly on Ukraine.
He added that relations are very good between the United States and Germany, which relies on NATO and US military protection.
In turn, a spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House, John Kirby, confirmed Thursday that the two countries are working together on Ukraine.
Since his arrival in the White House, the US president has publicly pressured Berlin to urge it to abandon the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project that would have linked it to Moscow.
The issue of delivering tanks to Ukraine has also been a source of tension.
On January 26, Germany finally agreed to send a number of its Leopard tanks to Ukraine, which gave a new dimension to the military support that this country receives in the face of the Russian invasion.
The United States also promised to send armored vehicles, which in recent days has sparked different interpretations.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday, in a rare acknowledgment of the tension between the two countries that Germany had stressed that it wouldn’t send Leopard tanks unless the president also agreed to send Abrams tanks.
Sullivan told ABC that President Biden decided not to send the armored vehicles mainly because his military told him they wouldn’t be useful on the battlefield.
However, in view of Germany’s insistence, the US president changed his position and acted for the sake of the unity of NATO, and to ensure that Ukraine gets what it wants.
However, the German government gave a different interpretation, stressing that the talks sought to develop a common approach without Berlin putting pressure on Washington.
John Kirby confirmed Thursday that the challenges posed by China will also be on the agenda of the discussions, at a time when Washington is accusing Beijing of studying arms delivery to Moscow.
The White House noted with satisfaction the German Chancellor’s warning to Beijing publicly against providing military support to Russia.
“Our views are identical to Germany’s,” a senior White House official told reporters Thursday.
As for the European criticism of the huge aid that the US administration intends to allocate to green industries under the Inflation Reduction Act, the official said that she expects to raise the issue, recalling at the same time the view of the US president, who has no intention of changing his policy.
“The Inflation Reduction Act has benefits outside the United States by lowering the costs of green energy… We hope that other countries will follow the example of the United States by adopting similar projects,” an US official, who asked not to reveal her name, said.