German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the White House Thursday for talks with President Joe Biden.
The two leaders held a meeting in the Oval Office before participating in a joint press conference in which they addressed COVID-19 travel bans, relations with China and Russia, and protests in Cuba. “While I reiterated my concerns about Nord Stream 2, Chancellor Merkel and I are absolutely united in our conviction that Russia must not be allowed to use energy as a weapon to coerce or threaten its neighbors,” Biden said after their meeting.
“My view on Nord Stream 2 has been known for some time, good friends can disagree,” he added later. “But by the time I became president, it was 90% completed. And imposing sanctions did not seem to make any sense. It made more sense to work with the chancellor on finding out how she’d proceed based on whether or not Russia tried to essentially blackmail Ukraine in some way.” The president said he and Merkel asked their teams to look into “practical measures” they could take together on the issue of energy security.
Following the press conference, Biden and Merkel were having dinner with a variety of leaders. Vice President Kamala Harris, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Democratic nominee for president Hillary Clinton and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy were slated to attend [ABC News].
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