U.S. President Joe Biden will welcome German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to the White House Friday for discussions on continued support for Ukraine and bilateral cooperation on a range of global security and economic issues.
The leaders first met in February of last year shortly after Scholz took office, and the visit comes after marking the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“We’ve closely coordinated our support to Ukraine throughout this conflict, including through joint announcements in January to provide infantry fighting vehicles and tanks,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters during a Thursday briefing.
“Germany has provided significant air defense support to Ukraine, including a Patriot battery; the IRIS-T air defense system, which is an infrared seeking system; and five multiple — multiple launch rocket systems,” he said.
Kirby said discussing additional support for Ukraine is high on the agenda for the Friday’s meeting. He also said the United States would be announcing a new package of military aid for Ukraine later in the day.
Scholz addressed the German parliament Thursday, calling on China to use its influence with Russia to convince that nation to withdraw its troops from Ukraine and not to provide Moscow with additional weapons.
Thursday, Kirby said the U.S. has communicated privately and publicly with China about providing weapons to Russia.
“We believe it’s not in China’s best interest to move forward in that regard and they should see it the same way,” he said.
Speaking to reporters in Berlin ahead of his departure for Washington, Scholz was asked why he is traveling to Washington to meet with Biden in person when they could have the same conversation via video link.
He said the two leaders talk on the phone regularly but meeting face to face “is part of the quality of our relationship,” as it should be “in a good life.” He said he sees it as a necessity in a world “where a lot of things have become very complicated.”
Some information for this report was provided by the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.