By David Shepardson and Maria Martinez
WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Reuters) - President Joe Biden will meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Washington on Feb. 9 in a bid to rally support for additional assistance for Ukraine, the White House said on Saturday.
The two leaders will use their White House meeting to reaffirm their strong support for Ukraine after Russia’s invasion, the White House said in a statement.
Biden and Scholz will discuss efforts to prevent regional escalation in the Middle East, their steadfast support for Israel’s right to self-defence, and the imperative of increasing humanitarian assistance and protection of civilians from harm in Gaza.
The meeting is set as bipartisan U.S. Senate talks on a border security deal that some Republicans set as a condition for further Ukraine aid have hit a critical point.
Biden said on Friday that the Senate border deal being negotiated was the "toughest and fairest" set of reforms possible and vowed to "shut down the border" the day he signs the bill.
Biden has requested $61.4 billion in additional funding to help supply Ukraine with weapons and replenish U.S. stocks as it nears the two-year mark of its war with Russia. The funds sought for Ukraine are part of a "supplemental" request that also includes $14.3 billion for Israel and $13.6 billion for border protection.
Scholz said this month the majority of countries in the European Union were not delivering sufficient weapons to Ukraine to help it battle Russia, urging allies to increase efforts.
Germany agreed late last year to double the country's military aid for Ukraine in 2024 to 8 billion euros ($8.7 billion), and on Tuesday said it would send six "Sea King" helicopters to Ukraine from its military inventory this year.
Kyiv and the West say Russia's 2022 invasion was an unprovoked war of aggression and a land grab, while Russian President Vladimir Putin says the 2022 invasion was necessary to protect Russia's own security.
The press office of the German government declined to comment.
(Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington and Maria Martinez; editing by Jason Neely and Diane Craft)