President Barack Obama will receive on Monday at the White House to German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss, among other issues, the conflict in Ukraine while fanning diplomatic efforts to stop the war.
Obama and Merkel will meet in the Oval Office of the presidential residence in Washington and will share a working lunch, according to the White House ahead, stressing that the crisis in Ukraine will occupy a prominent place in the discussions.
The German chancellor arrives in the United States after attending in Munich, Germany, the Security Conference (MSC) and lead by the president of France, Francois Hollande, an intense diplomatic offensive to defuse tension in Ukraine.
Read: Putin blames US and its allies in the conflict in Ukraine
The MSC has aired the division between the Obama administration, which is considering the possibility of supplying weapons to the Ukrainian army to fight the pro-Russian rebels in the east, and Europe, more supportive of diplomacy and to give more time for the economic sanctions against Russia can bear fruit.
Merkel, who met on Saturday in Munich with Vice President Joseph Biden, has made clear that “is not going to solve militarily” the conflict, causing over 5,600 deaths, including many civilians, since April 2014.
US does not believe in a “military solution”
Biden said in the German city that the US, in principle, does not believe in a “military solution” but stressed that Ukraine “has the right to defend itself”, accusing Russia of undermining Ukraine’s sovereignty by supporting the rebels.
A less cautious tone used on Friday in Munich US Gen. Philip Breedlove, supreme commander of NATO in Europe, who noted that his country would not rule out the “military option”.
In the same vein, the candidate chosen by Obama to become the new Pentagon chief Ashton Carter was favorable to providing weapons to the Ukrainian government this week.
To downplay the obvious differences with Europe, Secretary of State John Kerry said today, on the last day of the Conference on Security, which the West is united in its commitment to a “diplomatic solution”.
For now, Washington Kiev only provides non-lethal military equipment, but the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops since early this year in regions east of the country he replaced that possibility in the center of the political debate.
In addition, Obama will meet with Merkel under pressure from influential Republican opposition congressmen who advocate providing “lethal” weapons to Ukraine.
ISIS and the G7 summit will also be on the agenda
Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who met Saturday with President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, as part of a delegation of US lawmakers, said today that the position of the Obama Administration in the crisis “makes no sense”.
“We need to provide the people of Ukraine defensive weapons,” he told ABC television network Cruz, whose opinion strongly supports fellow Republican John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services.
Apart from the war in Ukraine, Obama and Merkel will address other issues such as relations with Russia, the threat of jihadist Islamic State (ISIS) , counter-terrorism and plans for Germany to host the G-7 (Group of the seven most developed) countries, according to the White House.
The free trade agreement that the European Union (EU) is negotiating with the United States also be on the agenda of the two leaders, confirmed Saturday the chancellor in his weekly video, in which he defended “advantage” of that covenant.
Obama and Merkel held their last bilateral meeting on May 2 in Washington.
The crisis in Ukraine and tensions with Russia also marked the meeting and since then, the two leaders have held several telephone conversations to discuss the conflict.
In May interview, Obama and Merkel also spoke of German discontent with the alleged espionage practiced by the National Security Agency (NSA) of the United States in Germany and affected, presumably, the chancellor own.
After his visit to Washington, Merkel will travel Monday to Ottawa to meet with Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper.