Joe Biden, the President of the United States, said that good friends could disagree with Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor. Both leaders answered questions about their difference of opinion on the disputed Russian natural gas pipeline. The U.S. president said that Germany and America would be seeking practical measures to take in case of the dimness of Ukraine’s energy security.
The eleven billion dollars Nord Stream 2 pipeline, close to completion, will allow Germany to duplicate the amount of natural gas it imports from Russia. However, the country would bypass Ukraine, so depriving Kyiv of profitable transit fees. Biden said that he and the German Chancellor agreed that they would not allow Russia to use energy as a weapon to threaten or force its neighbors.
On the other hand, Merkel said after her meeting Biden at the White House that they have different evaluations of what this project involves. Merkel may be line up fairly strictly with the president on their assessment of Russian President Vladimir Putin – both leaders want to have some type of relationship with Russia. However, it is not a partnership with Russia. Additionally, Biden and Merkel see clearly Russia as an opponent.
Before the meeting between Biden and Merkel, the U.S. Representative for Texas’s 10th congressional district since 2005, the lead Republican leader on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he hoped Biden would urge Merkel to adopt the more wise approach and policy on the pipeline.
Both leaders need to realize Berlin, the capital of Germany, could never appropriately ease the severe costs to Ukraine and European energy security after the pipeline is operational. So both countries need to stop the geopolitical weapon before it’s too late.
He also expressed his hope that the U.S. president would direct the German Chancellor’s view on China amid the harmful actions of the Chinese Communist Party. Germany has healthy and friendly trade ties with China, and Merkel perceived as trying to avoid having her nation choose between Beijing and Washington.
Under Chancellor Merkel, the friendship and cooperation between Germany and the United States has grown stronger and stronger. It was an honor to host her at the White House. pic.twitter.com/4aV9ssh5AP
— President Biden (@POTUS) July 16, 2021
On Thursday, Merkel told reporters that trade with Beijing needs to depend on the assumption that they have a level playing field. Joe Biden said the U.S. and Germany agreed to stand up for democratic values and universal rights when they see China or any other nation working to destabilize open and free societies.
Flood Disaster in Germany
Deadly disaster overshadowed the German Chancellor’s visit. Flooding caused the worst causalities in years – around sixty people dead and 1300 people are missing – after heavy rains turned streets into rivers. At the beginning of their joint news conference, Biden said that it is a tragedy in Germany, and his nation’s hearts go out to the families of victims.
The difference with Donald Trump
Merkel had differences with the former U.S. President Donald Trump on issues such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) collective security agreement, climate change, and immigration policies. However, on a question from a reporter about the difference between Trump and Biden, she replied that any German chancellor has a conferred interest to work and talk together with any U.S. president, and the dialog with Biden was very friendly exchange.