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White House confirms Biden, Scholz to meet in Washington in February

by The Kyiv Independent news desk January 27, 2024 7:32 PM 2 min read
Photo for illustrative purposes. U.S. President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the G7 summit in Elmau, Germany, on June 26, 2022. (Liesa Johannssen-Koppitz/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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U.S. President Joe Biden is due to meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Feb. 9 in Washington, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Jan. 27.

The meeting comes as over $100 billion in U.S. and EU military and financial aid remain stalled by domestic political turmoil.

"The two leaders will reaffirm their resolute support for Ukraine’s defense of its land and its people against Russia’s war of aggression," Jean-Pierre wrote.

Biden signed the last U.S. aid package for Ukraine on Dec. 27, amounting to $250 million. A supplementary funding bill, including $61 billion in aid for Ukraine, has been stalled due to disputes in Congress, delaying further military support for Kyiv defending against Russian invasion.

EU member states are set to vote on a 50 billion euro ($54 billion) financial support package for Ukraine at a summit on Feb. 1 after Hungary blocked the assistance in December.

Brussels is reportedly searching for alternatives to aid Ukraine if Budapest continues to oppose the four-year aid package.

Scholz has recently criticized other EU countries for providing insufficient defense assistance to Ukraine, saying that Germany can't make up for the deficit.

Germany is the second largest provider of military aid to Ukraine behind the U.S. Earlier this month, Berlin announced the first transfer of military helicopters to Ukraine.

Despite Scholz's pressure on EU allies to increase military support, he has also set limits on Germany's own provisions to Ukraine, blocking the delivery of long-range Taurus missiles over fears that the move will draw Germany into the war.

Scholz and Biden will reportedly coordinate in advance of the next NATO Summit, held in July in Washington.

Biden and Scholz will also discuss efforts to prevent regional escalation in the Middle East, their support for "Israel’s right to self-defense," and the protection of civilians in Gaza, Jean-Pierre said.

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