Sometimes during their short but eventful alliance, Mr. Biden, Mr. Scholz and other Western leaders have been keen to take the public lead on decisions about whether to sanction Russia or aid Ukraine. Concert – instead – in the direction of America.
Other times, neither leader wants to make the first move. In January, Mr. Biden and Mr. Scholz announced the delivery of battle tanks to Ukraine, ending weeks of U-Go First tensions with Germany, which delayed a deal to send its Panther 2 tanks until Washington agreed to the powerful M1. Abrams model.
“These tanks are further proof of our enduring, unflinching commitment to Ukraine and our confidence in the capabilities of the Ukrainian forces,” Mr. Biden said during the announcement. Although his national security adviser, Jack Sullivan, suggested in a recent interview that the president made the move to encourage the Germans to release the Panthers, the president has denied being pressured to give up the tanks by one of his closest allies.
For his part, Mr.
“We are talking about very effective weapons systems here, and it is right that we never deliver those weapons systems alone, but always in close cooperation,” Mr. Scholz told lawmakers in parliament in January.
But building about 30 Abrams tanks took months, and Germany struggled to fulfill its promise to send 62 vehicles to Ukraine. Mr. As Biden tries to drum up support for helping Ukraine amid Republican outcry, Mr. Schultz faces his own domestic obstacles. Amid anti-war demonstrations in Berlin.
“I think most Germans are on his side, but they’re blocking the F-16s, and they’re blocking things that they think are going to cross red lines with Putin,” Mr. Janes said. “He has to overcome those obstacles, so he can do that by going back and having a one-on-one meeting across the table from Biden. Then he can say with authority, ‘We’ve got backup here.’