U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel meet in Washington on Monday amid the deepening crisis in Ukraine. Merkel is expected to brief the president on the upcoming four-way summit (BBC) in Minsk on Wednesday between French, German, Russian, and Ukrainian counterparts—the latest diplomatic effort for a peace in Ukraine. The meeting between Obama and Merkel comes as U.S. lawmakers are upping pressure on the White House to send lethal weapons to Ukraine; Merkel is staunchly opposed to arming (Reuters) Ukraine and says that only a diplomatic solution will end the conflict. The U.S. and German leaders are also expected to discuss (Deutsche Welle) ISIS, Iran, climate change, and the negotiations (FT) for a trans-Atlantic trade deal.
“The only way to solve the Ukraine crisis is diplomatically, not militarily. Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, seems to recognize that fact, as she has said Germany will not ship arms to Kiev. Her problem, however, is that she does not know how to bring the crisis to an end,” writes John Mearsheimer for the New York Times.
“There is no doubt that Merkel is under enormous pressure from the German corporate sector because they have enormous investments in Russia. But it would be the same if all of a sudden the US were confronted with a similar situation with a neighbor where you have to cut the economic ties,” Annette Heuser of the Bertelsmann Foundation told Deutsche Welle.
“A new Euro-Atlantic security architecture must be empowered to act beyond traditional ‘military’ matters and engage more broadly on economic, energy-related, and other vital issues. As long as a zero-sum mentality regarding economic integration, trade, and energy persists, distrust will deepen,” write Des Browne, Igor S. Ivanov, and Sam Nunn at Project Syndicate.