German Chancellor Olaf Scholz Visiting White House to Discuss Ukraine Weapon Supplies
This week, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will be making his second visit to the White House since taking office in 2021, and the challenge of how to maintain weapons supplies to Ukraine will be high on the agenda. The US and Germany already agreed in lockstep to send battle tanks and Patriot missiles to Ukraine earlier this year, but President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s troops are still waiting on much of that equipment and face a shortage of basic artillery shells.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told ABC News last Sunday that Scholz’s government had only agreed to send Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine under the condition that the US would send Abrams tanks. The following day, Wolfgang Buechner, a spokesperson for the German government, contested Sullivan's statement and affirmed that no relationship ever existed.
Biden ultimately decided “in the interest of alliance unity and to ensure that Ukraine got what it wanted,” the U.S. would send the Abrams “down the road if you send Leopards now.”
Scholz has attempted to obtain resources from nations such as Brazil and Qatar, yet has had limited success. Ukraine is requesting additional ammunition, with a particular focus on the tanks provided by Germany and air defense armaments.
During Scholz's visit, the two leaders may also discuss recent intelligence suggesting China is considering providing Russia with lethal aid, a step US officials fear could prolong the conflict. The CIA chief has reaffirmed U.S. officials' belief that China is considering sending weapons to Russia, though no evidence of actual shipments has been found.
Scholz is journeying to Washington unaccompanied by the standard press contingent and no post-meeting press conference is arranged. The German government official stated that the two leaders desire to keep their dialogue confidential this time.
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