Before visiting Washington, Baerbock emphasizes partnership with the USA

Berlin, Washington Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock underlined the importance of the transatlantic partnership against the background of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. “The more difficult the times, the more important strong partnerships are – and as Europeans we have no stronger partner than the USA,” said the Green politician on Wednesday before her flight to Washington in talks with her US counterpart Antony Blinken and the chairman of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.

It is Baerbock’s first visit to the United States as a minister – and already the second personal meeting with Blinken. The two met shortly after Baerbock took office in December at a G7 foreign ministers’ meeting in Liverpool.

The talks should focus on developments in the crisis between Russia and Ukraine. Before her departure, Baerbock underlined that the common message from the Europeans and the US government was clear: “Russian actions are marked with a clear price tag, the only way out of the crisis is through dialogue.” did.

The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael Roth, has called for unity in the EU with a view to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. In view of the hundred thousand soldiers directly on the Ukrainian border, it is important that people talk to each other now, said the SPD politician in the ARD morning magazine. “Not only does the USA play a key role here, but of course the European Union and especially France and Germany also play a central role.”

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Russia is now speaking to the US. Europe is not watching, but is closely involved. “The Normandy format has helped stabilize the situation and now you have to go back to what you have achieved.”

Importance of the transatlantic relationship

The European Union must not allow itself to be divided. “We now need a policy of unity and determination.” Germany must help “ensure that we speak with one voice”. The worries and fears of the Baltic and Polish partners must also be included. The 2014 Normandy Format is a contact group at government and foreign ministerial level between Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine.

The US has been accusing Russia of building troops in areas on the border with Ukraine for weeks. It is feared that Russian troops could invade the ex-Soviet republic. Russia denies any plans to invade. The topic will be the subject of a meeting of experts from the USA and Russia on January 9th and 10th.

As examples of the importance of transatlantic relations, Baerbock also cited the economic sector and dealing with the climate crisis. “The strength of the transatlantic alliance is not measured in tanks and missiles, but first and foremost in the fact that we pull together when it matters – that is, when basic norms of international law have to be defended and we have to stand up for our common values. “The Foreign Minister added:” We are determined to act together to protect the European peace order. “

One day before the first anniversary of the storm on the Capitol, she is not only traveling to Washington as foreign minister, “but also as a staunch democrat and parliamentarian,” said Baerbock.

The European Union and the group of leading democratic economic powers (G7) share the goal of strengthening democracies and making them more resistant to internal and external threats. She will also discuss this with Pelosi. Supporters of the then incumbent US President Donald Trump stormed the seat of the US Congress in the capital Washington on January 6, 2021 – whipped by Trump himself.

Nord Stream 2 creates tension

The controversial German-Russian Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, which has always been a thorn in the side of the USA, harbors potential for discord in the transatlantic relationship. In addition to EU partner countries, the Greens in the Ampel coalition have also expressed their skepticism about the already completed twin line under the Baltic Sea. Unlike Baerbock, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) emphasizes that the Federal Network Agency’s pending decision on commissioning is apolitical and that it is a private-sector project.

“The green threat not to use Nord Stream 2 harms Germany above all,” said Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) of the dpa. “Because when gas prices rise sharply, Germany depends on a secure gas supply.” After the change of government in Berlin, “a situation of uncertainty” and “a naive and insecure green foreign policy” is to be feared, especially in relation to Russia. Söder said that concerns about an expansion of the conflict in Ukraine are justified – but: “We must not talk ourselves into an escalation. We now need fewer threats, but more talks and diplomacy. ”One problem is that“ the traffic light speaks with two voices here. That weakens the European concern. “

Foreign politician Omid Nouripour, who is running for the presidency of the Greens, told the newspapers of the Funke media group before Baerbock’s visit to the USA: “The Europeans must strive for their own sovereignty.” There are voices in the USA calling for complete decoupling from China. “That is neither desirable nor realistic.” The European interests are not congruent with the American ones. “Nevertheless, it is of great importance to maintain and deepen a partnership based on shared values ​​- regardless of who is currently in the Oval Office and in the Chancellery.”

More: Biden wants to mediate in the Ukraine conflict – but Putin remains unpredictable

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