Merkel presses Biden to lift European travel ban related to coronavirus

Joe Biden said that after Angela Merkel put pressure on the matter, he would be prepared “in the next few days” to explain when the United States may lift the COVID-19-related travel ban on European countries.

“It’s in progress now. I will be able to answer your question in the next few days,” Biden said at a press conference with Merkel, who was her last visit to Washington as German Chancellor.

“I am waiting for news from people on our Covid team about when we should do this. The Prime Minister did raise it.”

The words of the President of the United States bring hope Timetable for closing Pandemic era restrictions on travel between the United States and European countries in the Schengen area. These restrictions have been in place since a few weeks before the outbreak Coronavirus pandemic last year.

But U.S. officials refused to lift the travel ban, and Merkel acknowledged the spread of the epidemic Delta variant It is “a new challenge to both of us”.

“Before making such a decision, people must reflect, and it must be a sustainable decision. It is certainly not wise to have to take it back after only a few days. So I… have confidence in the US Covid team,” Mo Kerr said.

Biden and Merkel said they also discussed the controversial North Stream 2 Pipeline, Which will transport Russian natural gas to Europe.

The German-backed pipeline is about to be completed and will allow Russia to bypass Ukraine when sending natural gas to Europe. Critics say this will increase Europe’s dependence on Russian energy and make Ukraine more vulnerable to pressure from the Kremlin.

On Thursday, Merkel said that she and Biden had reached “different assessments.” “Our idea is and remains that Ukraine is still a transit country for natural gas. Ukraine has the same territorial sovereignty as any other country in the world.”

Biden said, “A good friend can disagree,” and he and Merkel discussed “practical measures” that Berlin and Washington can take together.

The two leaders also talked about a common attitude towards China, although there are significant differences on this issue. Although Biden urged Europe to support a tougher approach to Beijing, German political institutions have been worried about being dragged into a new Cold War.

Although Merkel has always emphasized the necessity of establishing a partnership with China, she said on Thursday, “There is a lot of consensus that China is our competitor in many areas, and trade with China needs to be established on the basis that we have a level playing field. On top of the assumptions. Let us all… play according to the same rules”.

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