“Ukrainians can continue to count on our support”

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The Federal Chancellor meets US President Biden “Ukrainians can continue to count on our support”

Federal Chancellor Scholz and US President Biden agree that Ukraine must continue to be supported in its defensive struggle against Russia. In addition to the war in Ukraine, the talks at the White House focused on another hotbed of crisis.

Federal Chancellor Scholz and US President Biden in the Oval Office.

Federal Chancellor Scholz and US President Biden in the Oval Office.

Photo: Federal Government / Imo

Following his conversation with US President Joe Biden in the White House, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz highlighted the good and important relations between Europe and the USA. “One can certainly say that relations, particularly between Germany and the USA, are currently more intense, close and consensual than they have probably been for many decades,” said the Chancellor.

Scholz described the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine as the greatest challenge – “with all its consequences for security and peace not only in Europe, but throughout the world”. Russia’s reneging on the agreement that borders must not be moved by force was a threat to peace and security, he said. It was therefore right and necessary that all the necessary decisions be made to help Ukraine defend its own country, the Federal Chancellor said on Friday.

Congress should release financial aid for Ukraine

US President Biden and Federal Chancellor Scholz agreed that it would be a threat to Ukraine’s defence capability if the US Congress failed to reach a decision that would free up funds for further support for Ukraine. “That is why we are both firmly convinced that this must happen now, but also confident that the American Congress will ultimately make such a decision.” This would then also send the right message to Putin, they said, namely that it was futile to hope that by waiting long enough, support would wane among Ukraine’s allies in Europe, North America and elsewhere. “Quite the reverse: the Ukrainians can continue to count on our support as it is needed,” said Scholz.

EU aid for Ukraine

In a conversation with the US President, Scholz reported on the most important developments in Germany and Europe over the past few weeks. In December last year, for example, the European Council decided to open membership negotiations with Ukraine. At the recent European Council meeting in early February, the heads of state and government of the 27 EUcountries agreed to provide Ukraine with an additional 50 billion euros in aid between 2024 and 2027. “We want to do everything we can to ensure that Ukraine is in a position to defend its territory,” said Federal Chancellor Scholz at the end of the meeting. Previously, Scholz actively promoted the continuation of EU aid to Ukraine.

Guest article by the Federal Chancellor: The West must maintain support for Kyiv, hold NATO firmly together, and thwart Putin’s attempt to divide us. Read the guest article by the Federal Chancellor in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) here.

In addition to the EU’s financial commitments to Ukraine, Federal Chancellor Scholz can also point to the recently adopted federal budget for 2024, which is estimated to provide over seven billion euros in financial aid to Ukraine. Since the outbreak of the war, bilateral aid for Ukraine alone has amounted to around 30 billion euros. This includes support already provided, as well as fixed expenditure for this year approved by the Bundestag and earmarked funds in the coming years.

Military assistance: You can read about which weapons and military equipment Germany supplies to Ukraine here.

Crisis region Middle East

In addition to the war in Ukraine, Scholz and Biden exchanged views on the situation in the Middle East.
Germany and the USA agree that a two-state solution must be found at the end of the conflict between Israel and Palestine. This development is important because it is the basis for sound future cooperation between Israel and the neighbouring Arab states, the Federal Chancellor said. There was no question, he said: “The USA and Germany stand alongside Israel in the right to defend its own country.” Germany had repeatedly made this position clear in international committees, he added.

NATO celebrates its 75th anniversary

In addition to the international crises, the Federal Chancellor’s trip to the United States also included discussion of the 75th anniversary of NATO. The anniversary is to be celebrated at the NATO summit of heads of state and government in July this year. The aim of this summit is to send out a signal that NATO is determined and capable of ensuring preparedness for deterrence and defence both now and in the future.

“The transatlantic partnership between Europe and the USA, and the partnership between Germany and the USA, is of great importance, also for our own security,” Scholz said before the meeting with Biden. “This is also why it is so crucial for us to discuss the necessary steps to strengthen our joint defence alliance, NATO.”

In this context, it is important to the Chancellor that Germany is committed to – and will contribute to – a stronger European pillar within NATO. The 100-billion-euro special fund, which from this year amounts to two percent of the gross domestic product for defence, the prospect of deployment of a combat brigade in Lithuania and the German initiative European Sky Shield are just a few examples of this.

Fringe programme of the USA visit: On the sidelines of his 24-hour stay in Washington, the Chancellor met with members of the American Congress for dinner on Thursday. On Friday, talks were also held with the managing directors of American companies.