Biden, Scholz in Private White House Huddle to Address Ukraine

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will visit the White House on Friday for a private meeting with President Joe Biden. The two will reportedly spend time alone together as both allies look to secure further weapons and funding for Ukraine while working on a joint plan to stymie any attempt by China to do the same in support of Russia.

Allowing Moscow to replenish its depleted stockpiles with Beijing’s help could change the entire dynamic on the battlefield even as China casts itself a peacemaker in the conflict.

An AP report notes China is Germany’s top trading partner, and European nations have generally been more cautious than the U.S. in taking a hard line with Beijing, however events on the battlefield in Eastern Europe over the past 12 months are changing that.

China’s antagonism towards the U.S. has been apparent since day one of Russia sending its troops across the border into its neighbor.

The one-day trip will be Scholz’s first to Washington since February 2022.

The German leader used a speech on the German parliament Thursday to warn China against taking an active roll,  cautioning it to “use your influence in Moscow to press for the withdrawal of Russian troops, and do not supply weapons to the aggressor Russia.”

“We’re proud of the collective efforts that we’ve taken together,” John Kirby, a White House national security spokesman, said Thursday according to AP.

U.S. President Joe Biden (L) and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz sit down for a bilateral meeting prior to the first day of the three-day G7 summit at Schloss Elmau on June 26, 2022 near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. (Sean Gallup – Pool/Getty Images)

He added the U.S. has not seen any indication China has made a decision on whether to provide weapons to Russia.

AP further reports Scholz last visited the White House a little more than a year ago, shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Little if anything of Friday’s confidential meeting will be open to the public. No announcements are expected and Scholz is traveling solo with no German media attending.

The meeting will be intimate, according to a senior German official and a U.S. official. Rather than being constantly flanked by advisers, the officials said, Biden and Scholz are likely to be the only people in the room for much of the time.

The two leaders will meet for an hour that includes a significant “one-on-one component,” a senior U.S. official further outlined, giving them a chance to “exchange notes” on their respective recent meetings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the state of the war.

Russia on Friday warned Western countries against providing more weapons to Ukraine, singling out Germany ahead of Scholz’s time in Washington.

“It is obvious that this will prolong the conflict and have sad consequences for the Ukrainian people,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, AFP reports.

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