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Biden, Merkel ‘United Against Russia’s Aggression’

Joe Biden, Angela Merkel
President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

July 18, (THEWILL) – The US and Germany will stand together against Russian aggression, President Joe Biden said as he welcomed outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel to Washington.

Biden said he had voiced concern to Merkel over a Russia-to-Germany gas pipeline, but they agreed Moscow cannot be allowed to use energy as a weapon.

The U.S president said the two allies also opposed anti-democratic actions by China.

Mrs Merkel, who has worked with four U.S presidents, is leaving office.

“We stand together and will continue to stand together to defend our eastern flank allies at Nato against Russian aggression,” Biden told Thursday’s joint news conference with Merkel.

He acknowledged the two did not see eye to eye on the nearly complete $11bn (£8bn) Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. The White House has said it will be used by Russia as leverage over Ukraine and other neighbours.

“Good friends can disagree,” said Mr Biden, who recently waived sanctions against Nord Stream 2.

The U.S president also said, “We will stand up for democratic principles and human rights when we see China or any other country working to undermine free and open societies.”