President Biden and Germany's Chancellor Scholz to discuss Ukraine aid

President Biden and Germany's Chancellor Scholz to discuss Ukraine aid

US President Joe Biden will host German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the White House on 9 February as the West struggles to provide new aid for Ukraine in the war against Russia.

“The two leaders will reaffirm their resolute support for Ukraine’s defence of its land and its people against Russia’s war of aggression,” the White House said in a statement on Saturday.

The United States says it is out of money for Ukraine, unable to send the ammunition and missiles that the government in Kyiv needs to fend off Russia. The Biden administration already has sent Ukraine $111 billion (€102 billion) in weapons, equipment, humanitarian assistance and other aid since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion in February 2022.

Biden's latest package of $110 billion (€101 billion) in new aid for Ukraine, Israel and other national security has had to be stalled because of disagreements between Congress and the White House over other policy priorities, including additional security for the US-Mexico border. That total includes about $61 billion (€56 billion) in assistance for Ukraine.

The European Union last month paid the final instalment of a multibillion-euro support package to Ukraine to help keep its economy afloat. The European Commission has proposed to provide Ukraine with €50 billion and at a summit before that last payout, 26 of the 27 nation bloc’s leaders endorsed the plan - but Hungary imposed a veto.

EU leaders are expected to meet again on 1 February to attempt a deal on the financial package, but the veto power by Hungary's prime minister, Viktor Orbán, who is considered to be Putin’s closest ally in the EU, remains a factor.

The Israel-Hamas war will also be a focus of the White House meeting between Biden and Scholz.

The leaders 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 life-saving assistance and protection of civilians from harm in Gaza,” according to the statement from White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.