German Chancellor Angela Merkel to meet with US President Joe Biden in the White House

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will today arrive in Washington DC to meet with US President Joe Biden. The two leaders

Tobias SchwarzReuters

Photo: Tobias Schwarz/Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will today arrive in Washington DC to meet with US President Joe Biden.

The two leaders will highlight the necessity of strengthening their bilateral relations, within NATO’s framework, which faltered under the Trump administration. Biden will also indicate Washington’s uneasiness regarding the Baltic Sea Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, which is nearing completion. US officials are concerned that the new pipeline route might increase the EU’s dependency on Russian gas and damage Ukrainian national security.

Biden and Merkel will likely use today’s meeting to emphasize their agreement on key points such as easing COVID-19 related travel restrictions and mounting a tougher stance against Russia. In this context, Biden will likely pressure Merkel to boost Berlin’s spending on NATO’s defense budget.

In terms of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, the two are unlikely to reach agreement. The Chancellor will likely continue to assert that the gas deal is solely for business purposes and lacks negative security implications; moreover, the pipeline is also in line with Germany’s long-term plan of increasing natural gas imports to reduce its reliance on coal. As a result, President Biden will retain the sanctions imposed on German companies associated with the project.

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