During his short visit to Washington, Chancellor Olaf Scholz promised continued military aid to Ukraine and sharply criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin chief is spreading lies about the history of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and pursuing imperialist aspirations, said Scholz at a meeting with US President Joe Biden in the White House.

The Chancellor expressed hope that the US Congress would approve further military aid for Kiev. Without the support of the USA and Europe, Ukraine has no chance of defending its own country, he warned. Biden complained that a failure by Congress to release the requested aid amounted to “criminal negligence” and said: “This is outrageous.”

Messages to the Kremlin chief

Scholz sent a clear message to Putin during his visit to the US capital. The SPD politician said that the Kremlin leader is counting on a decrease in support from Western allies for Ukraine. “If we make it clear that this is a miscalculation, then that is the best contribution to peaceful development.” The war could end at any time, but not with Ukraine capitulating.

The Chancellor sharply attacked Putin for his interview with the right-wing US talk show host Tucker Carlson. Scholz described the conversation as “ridiculous” and criticized that in the 127 minutes the Russian president had “honestly just mocked the real actions that were taken by Russia in Ukraine and told a completely absurd story about the cause of this war.” . Putin wants to annex part of Ukraine. “And all the stories that are told about it do not change the fact that this is exactly the purpose of his imperialist efforts.”

Putin’s first interview with a Western journalist since the war of aggression against Ukraine began almost two years ago was published during the Chancellor’s stay in Washington. Putin said that the West was slowly having to realize that the conflict could not be won militarily. Sooner or later this will lead to an agreement. “Once this realization has set in, they (the West) need to think about what to do next.”

Meeting of Ukraine’s main arms suppliers

The USA and Germany are by far Ukraine’s most important arms suppliers. Scholz estimates the value of the military equipment delivered and promised by Germany at more than 30 billion euros. The USA states the extent of its military aid at 44 billion US dollars (around 41 billion euros).

Both Scholz and Biden are currently struggling in different ways to maintain aid. At the beginning of the year, the Chancellor launched an initiative to encourage EU partners – especially economically strong ones such as France, Spain and Italy – to provide more support for the Ukrainian armed forces. The success so far has been moderate.

Biden, in turn, has been trying for months to get billions in new aid for Kiev through Congress. Former President Donald Trump’s Republicans are blocking this, but have recently signaled some willingness to move, at least in the Senate.

Scholz sees a “good sign” for further US aid

After arriving in Washington on Thursday evening, Scholz dined with eight senators from Congress, including four Republicans. The German delegation then said that the discussion partners were “hopeful” that the USA would provide financial support.

Scholz was confident that the US Congress would release further funds to equip the Ukrainian armed forces. He was “very happy” that “there is now a good sign.” The day before, a new legislative package that, among other things, provides $60 billion (56 billion euros) for Ukraine cleared its first formal hurdle in the Senate. Negotiations are still ongoing and a final vote in the Senate is pending. Whether the package will pass there and, above all, have a chance in the other chamber of parliament, the House of Representatives, is still completely open. Given the months-long blockade, even minimal movements are seen as progress.

Biden is dealing with completely different problems

During their conversation in the Oval Office, Scholz and Biden wanted to talk not only about aid to Ukraine but also about the Middle East conflict and the NATO anniversary summit in Washington in July.

The US President is currently struggling with completely different problems. Shortly before the Chancellor’s arrival, a document affair caught up with the Democrat: It is about the fact that he privately kept confidential government documents from his time as US Vice President – which is not allowed. The special investigator appointed to investigate the allegations did not recommend any legal consequences for the 81-year-old in his final report. But he described the most powerful man in the world as a doddering senior citizen with major memory problems, which is extremely inconvenient for Biden in an election year.

Series of slips of the tongue: Merkel confused with Kohl

In addition, Biden has again attracted attention with embarrassing slips of the tongue in the past few days. Just one day before the Chancellor’s visit, he confused his predecessor Angela Merkel with the deceased former Chancellor Helmut Kohl (both CDU) when he told an anecdote from the G7 summit in 2021 in New York. At a spontaneously called press conference on the special investigator’s report on Thursday evening, Biden made another slip of the tongue: When commenting on the Middle East crisis, he accidentally made Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi the head of state of Mexico.