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Gas pipeline marks Merkel’s swan song in the United States

First, breakfast awaits with US Vice President Kamala Harris.

Then Angela Merkel, who after nearly 16 years worked as a chancellor with four US presidents, will meet President Joe Biden, whom she already met during his tenure as Barack Obama’s vice president.

Agree on a vaccine patent

The meeting between the two leaders is expected to take place at my hands, and the White House insists that although Merkel will leave office soon, it is largely a business meeting.

Distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be high on the agenda. Joe Biden has been positive about the prospects of patenting the vaccine so that more doses can be manufactured.

Merkel, who has a scientific background, has a different opinion. Since the popular Pfizer/Biontech vaccine was developed in Germany, there is a need for the country to maintain patent protection.

Gas pipeline is a big issue

Climate change and relations with China are also scheduled to be discussed during the meeting. But the big issue that is expected to arise relates to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

The US has repeatedly criticized the gas pipeline, which risks making Germany and Europe increasingly dependent on energy imports from Russia.

Repeated sanctions against the project have delayed work, but to the annoyance of many American politicians, Biden has been relatively lenient on the project. In June, he lifted parts of the sanctions imposed by his representative, Donald Trump. However, hopes that the two leaders will reach an agreement on the gas pipeline during this visit are slim.