German chancellor predicts ‘united and decisive’ response if Russia invades Ukraine
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said ahead of a meeting with President Biden that Russia would be subject to a “united and decisive” response if Moscow launches an incursion against Ukraine.
Asked by The Washington Post if the German government would stop the process of opening the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline if Russia invades Ukraine, Scholz said, “We are ready to take together with our allies all necessary steps.”
“Please understand that I will not get into any specifics, but our answer will be united and decisive,” he later added.
The chancellor also said Germany has “a very clear agreement with the United States government on gas transit and energy sovereignty in Europe.”
“We already also agreed that we will support Ukraine, that we will fight for the gas transit via Ukraine intensely and that we will be very strong if this gas transit would be endangered,” he said.
“Also, it is absolutely clear that in a situation like this all options are on the table,” he added.
Scholz is scheduled to visit the White House on Monday. Biden administration officials said the two leaders will “discuss their shared commitment to ongoing diplomacy and joint efforts to deter further Russian aggression against Ukraine,” in addition to their cooperation on other various issues.
The meeting comes as concerns are rising in the U.S. and among allies that Russia is planning an incursion against Ukraine. Moscow has amassed more than 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border, but Russia has denied having any plans to invade.
The U.S. and allies, however, are preparing for a potential invasion. The Pentagon announced last week that it would deploy and reposition 3,000 U.S. troops to Eastern European allies to support NATO’s strength in the region, and NATO last month said it was putting forces on standby and dispatching additional ships and fighter jets to deployments in Eastern Europe to reinforce “Allied deterrence and deference” amid Russia’s troops buildup.