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Biden-Merkel Conference: Afghanistan, Cybersecurity, Nord Stream – News

2015 German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US Vice President Joe Biden.


Washington-President Joe Biden will discuss a series of pressing issues with German Chancellor Angela Merkel next week. This may be her last trip to Washington, nearly 16 years after steering Europe’s largest economy.

The two leaders are expected to share concerns about the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, the steady beating of cyberattacks, the Covid-19 pandemic, long-standing trade issues, and the termination of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

“From a German point of view, this would be a real visit,” a senior German government official spoke and explained on anonymous terms to discuss the details of the Prime Minister’s trip to Washington.

“Clearly, there have been many adaptations and initiations in bilateral relations over the past few years. The overall focus was on issues we disagreed with,” officials said. It was sometimes seen as an enemy, “he added.

Throughout his administration, former President Donald Trump frequently dressed up NATO allies and partners. He threatened to reduce US military support for NATO if his allies did not increase spending. In 2019, Trump chose Merkel for failing to meet the 2% GDP spending target set at the 2014 NATO Summit in Wales.

Germany at the time was just one of 19 NATO member states that did not meet its 2% GDP spending target.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump will arrive for a group photo at the G7 Summit in Towelmina, Italy, on May 26, 2017.

Getty Images

“There are always problems with relationships. We tend to have different perspectives, perspectives and interests from time to time, and they are perfectly normal because of their different sizes, strengths, vulnerabilities, etc.,” officials explained. Did.

“But what’s important, and perhaps not so completely seen in the last few years, is how to actually deal with the problem,” officials said.

Merkel’s July 15 visit to the White House, which met Biden in Washington for the third time since foreign leaders took office, takes place months before Germany’s national elections. Merkel, the first woman to lead Germany, previously said she would resign after the September elections.

Withdrawal from Afghanistan

On November 1, 2005, soldiers from Company A of the 101st Division Special Troops Battalion are preparing to board Chinook for an air raid mission at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.

U.S. military photo

Cyber ​​security

Biden and Merkel are also expected to discuss a surprising number of cyberattacks that have shown potential to reach across multiple industries and borders.

Florida-based latest ransomware attack unveiled last week Software provider CaseyaHas spread to six European countries and has breached thousands of networks across the United States.

Ransomware attacks include malware that encrypts files on your device or network, resulting in system inoperability. The criminals behind these types of cyberattacks usually demand a ransom in exchange for the disclosure of data.

The Russian hacking group REvil is responsible for cyber attacks on Kaseya. The full story of the ransomware attack is still unknown.

“This is a big issue,” officials told CNBC when asked if it would be a topic that Merkel would raise with US responders.

“Of course, as you can imagine, it’s being addressed in other channels as well, but it’s a big problem for all of us, and it’s more about how to address it, as well as how to raise it in the country where the attack occurred. We need to understand well, or where do we believe they came from? “

May, hacking group Known as Dark Side Suspected relations with Russian criminals led to a ransomware attack on the Colonial pipeline, forcing US companies to shut down about 5,500 miles of pipeline. It led to nearly half the turmoil in the East Coast fuel supply, causing gasoline shortages and airline turmoil in the southeast.

Colonial pipeline Paid $ 5 million ransom To cyber criminals to resume operations.A few weeks after the attack, U.S. law enforcement officers Collect $ 2.3 Million Bitcoins from Hacker Groups..

Within a month of a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline Brazilian JBSAnnounced by the world’s largest meat packaging company Being the victim of a ransomware attack.. The breach disrupted meat production in North America and Australia. Trigger concerns about rising meat prices..

The company eventually paid a ransom of $ 11 million to another Russian-based cybercriminal group, but not before it temporarily shut down its entire business in the United States.

Nord Stream 2

Biden is likely to raise concerns about the completion of a vast submarine pipeline that sends Russian gas directly to Germany.

The $ 11 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline deal occurs when the Biden administration is working to repair the tense relationship between Berlin and Washington following Trump’s term.

May, usa We have abandoned sanctions on the Swiss-based company Nord Stream 2 AG. Running a pipeline project, and its German CEO. With the exemption, Berlin and Washington will have three more months to reach an agreement on Nord Stream 2.

When completed, Nord Stream 2 will grow 764 miles, One of the longest offshore gas pipelines in the world..Last month the Kremlin said Only 62 miles left for the pipeline to build..

“Therefore, there are different concerns than in Eastern Europe and the United States, mainly related to the fact that Russia has been exporting weaponized energy in the past,” said a senior German government official.

“I saw Georgia in the early 2010s when half of Southeastern Europe froze,” officials said, adding that Berlin knew of Russia’s history of using energy to push the political agenda.

“Given the response in Eastern Europe, we believe we need to do something and investigate the possibility of reducing concerns about the perceived challenges of Europe’s energy security.”

When asked for a timeline to resolve the Nord Stream 2 issue, officials refused to provide further details.

“We are still talking and taking it seriously,” officials said.



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