Biden assures that the United States and Germany are “aligned” to stop Russia in Ukraine | International

Joe Biden (right) and Olaf Scholz, this Monday in the Oval Office, at the White House.
Joe Biden (right) and Olaf Scholz, this Monday in the Oval Office, at the White House.Al Drago / POOL (EFE)

Germany and the United States will respond forcefully and “jointly” with the rest of the NATO allies if there is a Russian invasion of Ukraine. And if that happens, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, projected by the giant Gazprom to send Russian natural gas through the Baltic Sea directly to Western Europe, bypassing Ukraine, will not be activated, Joe Biden has said. The US president and the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, who has avoided expressly confirming whether he is willing to suspend the permits for the gas pipeline that has been ready since September, have staged harmony and unity between the two countries at the end of their meeting this Monday in Washington . They have also been blunt in promising “swift and severe” sanctions if Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, decides to intervene in the neighboring country.

Biden received his guest in the morning guaranteeing that the two powers are “aligned” in this crisis, and determined to stop Putin’s feet. “I will underline the obvious: Germany is one of our closest allies,” said Biden, who has insisted several times that he trusts Berlin and that the diplomatic route remains a priority. To a question at the subsequent press conference about Americans living in Ukraine, Biden said that he “would hate for them to be caught in the crossfire” and added that it would be smart for them to “leave the country.” Scholz, for his part, has predicted that “Russia will pay a high price” if an invasion occurs. The Kremlin insists that it is not in its plans to do so, despite the fact that it has concentrated some 100,000 soldiers on the border that separates the two former Soviet republics.

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At the meeting, both leaders also spoke about China and the situation in the Western Balkans, the pandemic (and the vaccination process) and climate change.

It is the first visit to Washington for Scholz, who leads the coalition of Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals that took the reins of the European power two months ago. And it came at a dedicated moment: Germany, and the foreign policy management of the new Government, has been criticized by its allies for its refusal to send military material to Ukraine, to deploy troops in the countries on the eastern flank of NATO or specify what sanctions it intends to impose on Russia if it decides to intervene in the neighboring country.

This lukewarmness has strained relations with the United States, to the point that last week the ambassador in Washington, Emily Haber, sent a report to Berlin in which she assured that many see Germany in the federal capital, which this year enjoys the turn in the presidency of the G7, as an “unreliable partner”. The communication, leaked to the media, was headed with four words: “Berlin, we have a problem.” Criticism has reached the Capitol, where senators from both parties have criticized the caution of the European country in the current crisis.

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To change the pace, the German government prepared the ground for Scholz’s visit to the White House with the announcement a few hours before the summit in Washington that it will send 350 soldiers to Lithuania from the NATO contingent in the Baltic country. In Lithuania, a member of NATO, there are already approximately 1,200 soldiers since 2017 under German command.

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It is not being easy for Scholz to succeed Angela Merkel, not even in the international arena. Merkel, who treated four US presidents in her 16 years in office, visited the White House in July to say goodbye to Biden, who summed up the difference in opinion between the two countries regarding Russia with a sympathetic “good friends can disagree”. Six months later, patience is running out in the US strategy towards the Ukrainian crisis, which has opted for an aggressive approach to information management that includes leaks as noisy as the one last Saturday, when the Pentagon warned that the services of intelligence had indications that an invasion of Kiev could be “a matter of days” and that the forecast of casualties they manage reaches 50,000 civilian victims.

Scholz’s team has announced that upon his return from Washington, the chancellor will face an intense agenda aimed at tightening the German diplomatic accelerator. He has scheduled meetings with the French president, Emmanuel Macron, with the Pole Andrzej Duda and with the three leaders of the Baltic countries. He will then travel to Kiev, first, and then to Moscow.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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