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When Chancellor Olaf Scholz meets the American President in the White House this Monday, he will have to dispel major doubts about Germany’s loyalty to the alliance. Critics accuse Scholz of softly kicking Putin. It is about the refusal to deliver arms to Ukraine, the severity of possible sanctions against Russia and also the consequences for the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline in the event of a Russian invasion of the neighboring country.

Heike Schmoll

Political correspondent in Berlin, responsible for “Bildungswelten”.

The CDU chairman Friedrich Merz accused Scholz of hesitant foreign policy and believes that he missed the right time for a trip to Washington. “This trip comes too late. It would have been necessary weeks ago and then with a clear message from the most important European countries,” Merz told the “Bild am Sonntag”. Now the trip seems more like a visit from a petitioner who can no longer get out of a situation that he has caused himself and therefore has to ask his big brother in Washington for help. Even determined transatlanticists in Berlin see the foreign policy course of the traffic light coalition as alienating from America. There are voices in the US Congress who doubt Germany’s reliability. But criticism has also been voiced within the coalition itself.

“Not all cups in the cupboard anymore”

“In the United States, the impression has arisen that the Germans no longer have everything in their cupboards,” said FDP defense expert Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann of the AFP news agency. “In the last 14 days, not everything has gone smoothly in terms of communication.” For example, Germany should have made it clear that although it is not supplying heavy weapons to Ukraine, it is helping the country in many other areas. “Scholz should make it clear in Washington: Of course Germany is a reliable partner,” says the chair of the Bundestag Defense Committee.

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Scholz is supported by the former Minister of State in the Foreign Office and current Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Bundestag Michael Roth (SPD), who points out that criticism of Germany in the United States can also have domestic reasons. Attempts are sometimes made to discredit Biden’s constructive attitude towards Germany.

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