The Chancellor’s visit to the USA is the start of a crisis mission

Status: 02/06/2022 10:06 p.m

The visit to US President Biden will not be a coffee party, Chancellor Scholz is aware of that. After all, Europe’s security is at stake. The left expects diplomacy in the Ukraine conflict. The CDU’s trip comes too late.

By Anja Günther, ARD Capital Studio

Chancellor Olaf Scholz is on a delicate crisis mission. In a conversation with US President Joe Biden about the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Chancellor wants to show that Germany is not procrastinating. But a reliable NATO partner, like Scholz in an interview with before his departure Report from Berlin stressed:

You don’t just go there to have a coffee. It’s about making real, hard, important politics.

Anja Gunther
ARD Capital Studio

There is great concern about a Russian invasion of Ukraine — and associated with this is concern about security in Europe. Russia has increased its troops near Ukraine, the US has deployed additional troops to Poland. Scholz can imagine Germany becoming more active in the region, for example sending more soldiers to Lithuania, where the Bundeswehr has an EU combat force.

At the same time, the SPD politician reiterated the federal government’s no to arms deliveries to Ukraine: “The federal government has had a clear course for many years. That we don’t deliver to crisis areas and that we don’t deliver lethal weapons to Ukraine either.”

Left and CDU with concrete expectations

The left in the Bundestag supports the course of the traffic light coalition of SPD, Greens and FDP. The Left Party’s co-group leader, Mohamed Ali, said ARD Capital StudioShe has specific expectations of the chancellor’s talks with US President Biden: “I expect Olaf Scholz, during this talk in Washington, to clearly call for diplomacy to be used again. We need Relaxation.”

In recent weeks, Olaf Scholz has often been accused of not being visible enough in the Russia-Ukraine crisis, showing neither leadership nor a clear stance. In contrast to many of his European colleagues, above all French President Emmanuel Macron.

The CDU federal chairman Friedrich Merz thinks that the Chancellor’s trip to the USA comes too late: “Olaf Scholz has been in office for two months now and is now starting the most important trips abroad. That is indeed very late. But for the conflict, hopefully it’s not too late.” In any case, Scholz must come back from Washington with concrete results, Merz explained.

First Washington, then Kiev and Moscow

Olaf Scholz pointed out in ARD-Interview back the impression that the USA and many EU partners are dissatisfied with Germany. The meeting between Scholz and Biden is also expected to send a signal that the West agrees, for example on the issue of possible sanctions against Russia should Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity be violated.

“We have very specific preparations with our allies in the EU,” said Scholz. “We are in very close talks with the US about the possible sanctions that we can take. These will be very far-reaching, very tough sanctions if that becomes necessary.”

The Chancellor’s visit to the USA is only the start of his crisis mission. Scholz is expected in Kiev on February 14th and in Moscow on February 15th. The Chancellor added that he did not want to be infected by the hustle and bustle of others. But Olaf Scholz knows that time is of the essence in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. And that he must become more visible and act decisively.

Ukraine/Russia conflict: Scholz started towards the USA

Anja Günther, ARD Berlin, February 6, 2022 9:33 p.m

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