The US president Joe Biden is scheduled to meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the White House on Mon amidst the persisting tensions with Russia.
While the United States has issued a clear-cut warning to Russia if it invades Ukraine, Germany has decided to go for a softer option as it refused to provide military assistance to Ukraine. Moreover, Germany has been reluctant to close Nord Stream 2, a western Russian pipeline carrying gas to northeastern Germany.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has gathered its European allies to respond to Russian threats unitedly with its aggressive plan. Monday’s meeting with Scholz, who got elected just last year, is aimed to make an alliance with the country and express unity against Russia.
Almost two weeks ago, President Joe Biden Tweeted, “I spoke with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy to discuss our coordinated diplomatic efforts and reaffirm our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We will respond decisively — along with our Allies and partners — if Russia further invades Ukraine.”
During a briefing, a member of the Biden administration bluntly said regarding the Nord Stream 2, “We have made our position very clear, which is that if Russia invades Ukraine in one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.”
While the White House official acknowledged “the narrative that’s been out there that Germany’s response to Russia has been lacking, they were not outright critical of Scholz’s hesitations thus far.” However, they refused to disclose whether they convinced the Germans to get on board with the US in their plan to close the Nord Stream 2 ultimately if Russia decides to move.”We’re confident that the Germans share our concerns with Russian aggression, that they’re very involved in our ongoing efforts on both deterrence and diplomacy,” said the official. “What I can say is that we will continue to work very closely with Germany to ensure the pipeline does not move forward.”
When the officials were further asked whether they plan to close the Nord Stream pipeline regardless of Russia’s invasion, the official replied, “There is not currently any gas flowing through the pipeline. And there won’t be any gas for months, in part because of the diplomacy that the United States has been able to do on this issue with Germany,”
According to the ABC reports, Putin has gathered 70 percent of the military required to launch a full-fledged attack on Ukraine. With US intelligence in the know of Putin’s preparations for a large-scale invasion, Biden administration’s senior official said important allies like Germany must be informed of the ongoing situation. “I absolutely think that our countries are unified in terms of awareness of the risk of further Russian aggression to Ukraine. We have been for a long time sharing intelligence with Germany with the rest of our allies,” said the official. “And I think there is absolutely absolute agreement, that if there is further Russian aggression, that there’s a number of things that need to be done in terms of deployment of additional troops to the eastern flank, and to the imposition of a large package of economic sanctions.”