U.S. President Joe Biden hosts German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for a White House meeting Monday that is likely to be dominated by efforts to deter a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The two NATO members have expressed support for bolstering NATO troop positions in the eastern part of the alliance, with the United States ordering extra forces to Poland and Romania and Scholz saying Sunday he was open to strengthening a German-led battlegroup in Lithuania.
The United States has also been delivering military aid to Ukraine, including ammunition and anti-tank missiles. To the frustration of some NATO allies, Germany has declined to extend its support to include lethal weapons, with the government citing a policy of not sending such arms into conflict zones.
Another potential point of contention is Germany’s reliance on Russian energy supplies and the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project that is designed to bring Russian natural gas to Germany.
The United States, among others, has viewed the pipeline as part of the deterrence of a Russian attack on Ukraine, saying an invasion would mean the end of the project.
Scholz told German broadcaster ARD ahead of his trip to Washington that in terms of the pipeline, “We have considered all measures and there is nothing that is ruled out.”
In addition to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the White House said Biden and Scholz would discuss several other issues, including climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.