Scholz in the USA: the start of a difficult inaugural visit

Status: 07.02.2022 10:26 a.m

Main topic Ukraine crisis: Chancellor Scholz has arrived in the USA and will meet with President Biden today. Criticism of Germany’s attitude in the conflict has not stopped here either.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has arrived in the USA for his inaugural visit. He landed in Washington on Sunday evening (local time). Against the background of the Ukraine conflict, Scholz will be received by US President Joe Biden today. Two months after being sworn in, it is the SPD politician’s inaugural visit as chancellor to the White House.

“The federal government is not supplying any lethal weapons to Ukraine,” said Chancellor Scholz

Report from Berlin, February 6, 2022

Before leaving, Scholz had countered criticism in connection with the Ukraine crisis that the federal government was an unreliable ally. in the Report from Berlin he said: “We have had a clear strategy together with our allies for a long time.” Discussions will continue on how to make it clear “that military aggression against Ukraine would have high costs for Russia.” Very precise agreements have been prepared “with the USA, the EU and everyone who is concerned”.

On the issue of arms deliveries to Ukraine, Scholz said that the federal government had had a clear course for years “that we would not deliver to crisis areas and that we would not deliver any lethal weapons to Ukraine.”

Scholz: “They are very good partners”

In the US newspaper “Washington Post”, Scholz reiterated his conviction: “Reality is more important than rumours,” he said. “The reality is that Germany is the largest NATO partner in continental Europe, that we are continuously strengthening our armed forces, that we are a very good partner.”

When asked whether the federal government would put the Nord Stream 2 pipeline on hold if Russia invaded Ukraine, Scholz said again that “all options were on the table”. However, he did not want to elaborate on this. “Strategic ambiguity” is necessary so that Russia cannot calculate exactly what price it would have to pay if it were to invade.

“A military intervention by Russia would have a high price,” said Chancellor Scholz

Report from Berlin, February 6, 2022

Röttgen demands clearer positioning

On the discussion about sanctions against Russia, the CDU foreign politician Norbert Röttgen said in the “Welt” that the chancellor “should not avoid saying clearly that Russian aggression means the temporary end for Nord Stream 2”. Regarding the German government’s refusal to supply arms to Ukraine, Röttgen said: “Scholz can and must explain why Germany is not supplying arms to Ukraine.”

On the other hand, the foreign policy spokesman for the Union faction, Jürgen Hardt, also in the “Welt”, warned that Scholz had to make it clear that Germany was ready to do more with NATO, for example in Lithuania and with the equipment of the Bundeswehr.

The designated FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai also called for a “common and clear message” from Scholz to Russian President Vladimir Putin in the “Welt”.

Nouripour joins Scholz

CDU chairman Friedrich Merz’s criticism of Scholz was rejected by Green chairman Omid Nouripour. in the SWR Nouripour said: “I understand that Friedrich Merz now wants to find his role as leader of the opposition, but that is not factual criticism.” Germany is not an outsider with its position on arms deliveries. Within the Union there is the “distinguished foreign politician Norbert Röttgen”. “He says and explains pretty well and precisely why arms shouldn’t be delivered to Ukraine in the current situation,” Nouripour said.

Merz had said in a newspaper interview that under Scholz as chancellor, Germany “apparently liked its role as an outsider, as a naysayer and inhibitor of a European strategy”. He accused Scholz of the USA trip coming too late.

The Greens foreign expert Jürgen Trittin also supported Scholz: There is great agreement in NATO, in Europe and in the USA on how to react to a Russian attack on Ukraine, Trittin said in common Morning magazine from ARD and ZDF. He also rejected accusations that the federal government was acting too hesitantly or was unreliable.

Meanwhile, Development Minister Svenja Schulze spoke out in favor of expanding development cooperation with Ukraine. “I’m very much in favor of continuing and expanding this development policy commitment,” the SPD politician told the newspapers of the Funke media group. “Because a self-confident and crisis-proof society best strengthens Ukraine in the long term.”

With information from Kai Clement, ARD capital studio

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