- Olaf Scholz is in Washington to help get more urgent aid to Ukraine
- He met with President Joe Biden at the White House on Friday afternoon.
- It comes as the Senate moves forward with a new support bill.
President Joe Biden demanded that Congress approve more aid for Ukraine on Friday during a White House meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, saying it would be a disaster if lawmakers did not approve a new support package.
“If the United States Congress does not support Ukraine, if it happens, it is approaching criminal negligence,” he said. “It is outrageous”.
Scholz is in town to help bolster Biden’s case and persuade Republicans to authorize another tranche of aid.
A day earlier, the Senate moved forward with a $95 billion bill approving aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, days after another package, which included immigration reforms, was killed.
“Hopefully, Congress…the House will follow through and make a decision on providing the necessary support,” Scholz said.
President Joe Biden meets with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Oval Office on Friday
Ukrainian military fires a D-20 howitzer towards Russian troops at a position near the town of Bakhmut, on the front line. Sholz is in town to bolster support for a new US aid package for Ukraine
“Because without the support of the United States and without the support of the European states, it is not possible to have any chance of defending the country.”
Biden welcomed the German leader to the Oval Office and in his two-minute opening speech referred to the German chancellor as “Olaf.”
This will have come as a relief to White House staff. This week Biden has had problems with the names of world leaders.
On Wednesday he referred to a conversation that took place in 2021 with Sholz’s predecessor, Angela Merkel, and the late German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. In fact, Kohl died four years earlier.
It came after he made a similar mistake with French presidents, describing a conversation with Emmanuel Macron as having taken place with Francois Mitterrand, who died in the 1990s.
The White House has also been in damage limitation mode since Thursday’s release of a damning report on Biden’s mishandling of sensitive government documents.
Although special prosecutor Robert Hur recommended that no charges be filed, his report painted a damning picture of a president struggling with “diminished powers.”
The United States has had to cut military aid to Ukraine after its budget authority was exhausted. The second anniversary of the Russian invasion is approaching
White House officials said the criticism was unwarranted and misplaced, and on Friday pointed to Biden’s record in office as a record of a president who gets things done.
And that meant talks with Scholz on Friday about how to secure more aid for Ukrainian forces who have been stuck for months after fending off Russia’s initial attack.
The White House has repeatedly warned that failing to send more aid to kyiv would undermine its ability to resist the Russian invasion.
Last week, the European Union approved a four-year package worth $54 billion.
But in Washington, the issue has stalled over domestic politics, as Republicans first tried to tie more money to a deal to strengthen security on the southern border before changing their minds.