- March 3, 2023

Biden and Scholz vow to keep imposing costs on Russia for its war in Ukraine

Biden & Scholz

US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz met on Friday to discuss the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the possibility of China providing military aid to Russia. The meeting, which lasted over an hour, focused on the importance of global solidarity with Ukraine and the continued provision of security, humanitarian, economic, and political assistance.

During the meeting, Biden thanked Scholz for his leadership and support for Ukraine. Scholz emphasized the importance of demonstrating that allies will back Kyiv for as long as necessary. The discussion also included the possibility of imposing sanctions on China if it provides military support to Russia.

While the US has said that China is considering providing weapons to Russia, Beijing has denied any intention to do so. A senior European Union official stated that such action would be an “absolute red line” and would trigger sanctions.

Germany, which is a top trading partner with China, has typically taken a less hawkish stance than the US on China. However, Scholz issued a strong warning to China on Thursday not to provide weapons to Moscow and appealed to Beijing to pressure Russia to withdraw its forces.

Biden praised Germany’s decision to increase military spending and diversify its energy sources away from Russia. The US also announced a new military aid package for Ukraine worth $400 million, which includes ammunition and tactical bridges to move tanks and armored vehicles.

The meeting also addressed a major trade dispute over US subsidies for green technologies under the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). US and European officials are reportedly working on a high-level agreement that would make European minerals eligible for US tax credits. An announcement on this agreement could come as early as next Friday when European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visits the White House.

Critics have described the IRA as a slap in the face to Europe from its biggest ally, especially at a time when Europe is already dealing with sharply higher energy prices due to the conflict in Ukraine.

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