The president of the United States, Joe Biden, and the head of the German government, Olaf Scholz, asked the US Congress this Friday to approve additional funding for Ukraine.
“The failure of the United States Congress to support Ukraine borders on criminal negligence,” Biden said as he welcomed Scholz to the Oval Office. “He’s angry.”
The German leader stated that he expects progress in unblocking Washington’s aid to Kyiv.
“Without the support of the United States and […] European states, Ukraine has no chance to defend its own country,” warned Scholz.
The US Senate on Thursday took a first step toward opening a legislative package that includes about $60 billion in military aid for Ukraine.
But its future remains uncertain as congressmen close to former president and White House candidate Donald Trump refuse to give Kiev more money.
The 27 countries of the European Union recently agreed on a 50 billion euro package until 2027, after Hungary lifted its veto.
Germany is the second-largest contributor in absolute terms after the United States, with more than 7 billion euros this year, and is urging European partners to increase their aid.
In the meantime, the Ukrainian troops could barely hold the front.
The new army chief, Oleksander Sirski, promised a “clear” plan to repel the Russians.
Their main problem was the lack of ammunition. Kyiv has also demanded long-range missiles, but Washington and Berlin hesitated for fear of provoking an unstoppable development in the Kremlin, which has raised the nuclear threat more than once.
Scholz also accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of “telling a lot of lies” in a “funny interview” with American host Tucker Carlson that aired on Thursday.
“He wants to keep a part of his neighbors’ territory. This is just imperialism,” said Scholz.
Biden did not respond when asked if he would raise the issue of Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich, who is imprisoned in Russia, with Scholz.
Putin indicated in an interview on Thursday that he was interested in a prisoner swap in which the American journalist would be released as part of a deal in which Germany would release a Russian convicted of killing a fugitive former Chechen rebel in Berlin.
In Scholz’s third bilateral visit since he won office in December 2021, they also discussed the war between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the Yemeni Houthi rebels’ attacks on the trading ship in the Red Sea. .
The two leaders, who are involved in “a strong relationship of trust” according to German government sources, support Israel’s right to defend itself after the massacre of civilians carried out by Hamas in his territory on October 7, but asked for a halt to the Israeli bombing of Gaza. .
They also demanded the release of hostages taken by Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip.
The meeting came after a sharp change in tone by the US president, who on Thursday called Israel’s response “excessive.”
The two leaders “underlined the need to protect civilians in Gaza and increase the delivery of essential humanitarian aid,” in addition to examining the conditions for a lasting peace “that includes the establishment of a state of Palestine with the security guarantee of Israel,” it said. the White House in a statement.
And they spoke at the NATO summit to be held in July in Washington.
Shortly after the meeting, former Polish President Lech Walesa told CNN that “the United States must play this role as a world leader.”
“We are not saying that you have to pay for everything, but you have to lead by example and encourage the world to join the effort. Otherwise, our civilization is dead,” he said.