Biden and Merkel Agree They Must Not Allow Russia to Use Energy to Coerce Neighbors

US President Joe Biden, speaking at the joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after their meeting Thursday, said that both United States and Germany agree that Russia must not be allowed to use its energy resources as a weapon to coerce and threaten its neighbors, according to The New York Times.

Noting that he had reiterated his concerns about Nord Stream 2 while talking to the German Chancellor, Biden said that both he and Merkel believe that Russia must not be allowed to use energy as a weapon to coerce or threaten its neighbors.

He acknowledged that the US and Germany have opposing views on the Nord Stream 2, but it makes more sense to work together than against each other since the controversial pipeline is almost completed.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for her part, said Nord Stream 2 pipeline should be a supplement to gas transit through Ukraine and not replace it entirely since that would create tensions.

The talks between Biden and Merkel included several of US most pressing geopolitical priorities, such as restraining Chinese influence, curbing Russian aggression and waiving intellectual property restrictions on coronavirus vaccine manufacturers.

Merkel kept her comments nonspecific on countering China, careful not to run afoul of Germany’s largest trading partner, while Biden believes China’s influence poses an existential threat to American democracy.

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