WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden will host German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the White House on February 7 to discuss Russia’s “aggression against Ukraine,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday.
“Chancellor Scholz’ visit provides an opportunity to affirm the deep and enduring ties between the United States and Germany. The leaders will discuss their shared commitment to both ongoing diplomacy and joint efforts to deter further Russian aggression against Ukraine,” Psaki said.
Germany is a linchpin in US-led efforts to build a common Western front against the Russian military build-up around Ukraine and Kremlin demands that NATO block the former Soviet republic’s membership ambitions.
Berlin has stood out for declining to join other allies in sending defensive weapons to Ukraine, but as Europe’s leading economy, it would play a key role in threatened sanctions against Russia.
Germany is also the end point for the massive Nord Stream 2 pipeline built to deliver Russian natural gas. The project is complete but has not been activated, and Germany is under pressure to shelve it if Russia invades Ukraine.