US President Joe Biden has thanked Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) for "strong and consistent leadership" in supporting Ukraine in the war against Russia. "I mean that honestly. It's made a huge difference," Biden said Friday at a meeting with Scholz at the White House. Germany not only provides "military support" but also "moral support".
"We are working together in lockstep to deliver critical security support to Ukraine," Biden said in the White House Oval Office. Germany and the US would also make NATO "stronger and more capable," the US President added.
Scholz also drove "historic changes" in Germany, Biden said. The drastic increase in defense spending and the move away from Russian gas were difficult decisions. Biden stressed that the US and Germany had always worked together in support of Ukraine - and assured that this will continue.
In recent months, there have been disagreements between Berlin and Washington over support for Ukraine. In January, for example, tensions arose between the two governments over the issue of supplying western main battle tanks.
On Sunday, Biden's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, corrected the president's previous account that he had not let Scholz pressure him into supplying Abrams tanks. Biden only agreed to this delivery so that Germany would clear the way for the delivery of Leopard 2 main battle tanks, Sullivan said. The Federal Government rejected this Juntim.
Before the talks with Biden in Washington, Scholz emphasized that relations between Germany and the United States were better than they had been for many years. "This is important in these times when we are challenged by Russia's terrible war of aggression against Ukraine."
"But it will also be important in the long term that we continue to develop this transatlantic cooperation." The basis for this is trust, which arises from the fact that we keep talking to each other. "That's exactly what we do."
Scholz visited Biden in Washington for the second time since he took office almost 15 months ago. Contrary to custom, Scholz and Biden did not want to hold a joint press conference after their meeting. All that was expected was a written explanation.
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