Biden and Germany’s Scholz meet amid concerns over Ukraine and China
Throughout their brief but eventful alliance, Mr. Biden has occasionally seemed interested in allowing Mr. Scholz and other Western leaders to exercise public leadership on decisions related to punishing Russia or supporting Ukraine, a strategy designed to thwart the idea to substantiate that Europe is acting in concert with – rather than at the direction of – the United States.
At other times, none of the leaders wanted to make the first move. In January, Mr. Biden and Mr. Scholz announced they would be supplying main battle tanks to Ukraine, ending weeks of tensions with Germany, which had delayed an agreement to send its Leopard 2 tanks unless Washington agreed with the mighty M1 to Abrams model.
“These tanks are further evidence of our continued, unwavering commitment to Ukraine and our confidence in the capabilities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” Biden said during the announcement. The President has denied being pressured by one of his closest allies to provide the tanks, although Jake Sullivan, his national security adviser, hinted in a recent interview that the President took the step to get the Germans to release the Leopards to encourage.
For his part, Mr. Scholz has stressed the need for close cooperation between the United States and Germany.
“We are talking about very effective weapon systems here, and it is right that we never provide these weapon systems alone, but always in close cooperation,” Scholz told the Bundestag in January.
But it will take months to build about 30 Abrams tanks, and Germany is struggling to fulfill its promise to send about 62 of the vehicles to Ukraine. As Mr. Biden continues to try to rally support for supporting Ukraine amid Republican gripes, Mr. Scholtz faces his own domestic political obstacles while working to fulfill a promise to the tanks amidst anti-war protests in Berlin.
“I think most Germans are on his side, but they oppose F-16s, and they oppose things that they think will cross red lines with Putin,” said Mr. Janes. “He’s got those hurdles to overcome, so he’s going to be able to come back and do that by meeting face-to-face right across the street from Biden. Then he can say with authority, ‘We have backup here.’”
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/03/us/politics/biden-scholz-ukraine-china.html Biden and Germany’s Scholz meet amid concerns over Ukraine and China