The Democrat Joe Biden has been the new US President since January 20 – and does away with the legacy of his predecessor Donald Trump. All news and developments at a glance:
Biden proposes a democratic counterpart to China’s Silk Road
Friday, March 26th, 11:05 pm: US President Joe Biden has proposed a counterpart for the Democratic States to China’s New Silk Road trade project. He suggested this during a telephone conversation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Biden told journalists. This can be used to “help communities around the world that really need help”. According to its own information, China wants to boost trade within Asia as well as with Europe and Africa with its project announced in 2013 for new roads and rail connections. Critics from the West say, however, that the government in Beijing only wants to expand its influence on the world economy.
Biden invites heads of state and government to online climate summits
Friday, March 26th, 9:30 p.m .: US President Joe Biden invites the heads of state and government of China, Russia and three dozen other countries to an online climate summit. Biden said he has not yet spoken to Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin about it. “But you know you’re invited.” A total of 40 countries will take part in the virtual conference on April 22nd and 23rd, according to the US Presidential Office.
Under Biden, the US is striving for a more active role in world politics than under his predecessor Donald Trump. Tensions with China and Russia have intensified. The US and its allies decided to sanction China for suppressing the Muslim Uyghur minority. In an interview, Biden also affirmed the question of whether he considered Putin a “killer” and threatened Russia with new sanctions because the country had tried to influence the presidential election. The governments in Beijing and Moscow reject the allegations.
Biden expects to run again in the 2024 presidential election
Thursday, March 25th, 7.40 p.m .: In his own words, US President Joe Biden expects to run for a second term in the White House in the 2024 election. “The answer is yes, my plan is to run for re-election, that’s my expectation,” said the 78-year-old Democrat on Thursday at his first press conference since taking office more than two months ago when asked. When asked if he wanted to run again with his deputy Kamala Harris as a runner-up candidate, Biden said he would expect that too. “She is a great partner.”
He does not know whether he would compete against his predecessor Donald Trump in 2024, Biden said at the press conference. Republican Trump has so far left it open whether he wants to run again after his loss to Biden last November. To this day, Trump complains that he was fraudulently deprived of victory in the election. He did not provide any evidence of this. The Trump camp failed with dozens of lawsuits in courts in various states against the election results.
Senate confirms trans woman for high government office for the first time
Thursday, March 25th, 02:29 am: With Rachel Levine as State Secretary in the Ministry of Health, the US Senate has confirmed a trans woman for such a high government office for the first time. 52 senators voted for Levine on Wednesday, 48 against her. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski were the only Republicans to give the green light for the nomination. The trained pediatrician was previously the Minister of Health in the US state of Pennsylvania.
“I am honored to be the first transgender person to hold a Senate-approved position,” Levine said in a statement to the New York Times. In her new office, she wants to stand up especially for trans young people. “I know you face a lot of difficult challenges every day,” said Levine. “What I can tell you: There is a place for you in America and in our government.”
Harris should take care of curbing migration on the US southern border
Wednesday, March 24th, 10:40 p.m .: US President Joe Biden puts control of migration from Central America in the hands of Vice President Kamala Harris. She should lead the diplomatic efforts with the countries in the region and find ways to prevent the people from making their way to the USA, Biden announced in the White House.
In the past few weeks, the pressure on the Biden government had grown in view of the rapidly increasing number of migrants on the US southern border. The most pressing issue at the moment is the accommodation of the many unaccompanied minor migrants. “I think I gave you a tough job,” Biden said to Harris. However, no one is better placed to work with Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries – Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – on this issue, he said, referring to Harris’ experience as attorney general in the largest US state, California.
For Harris, the new accountability is an opportunity to stand out as a Vice President in the midst of a heated issue. Biden held a similar position as Vice President under Barack Obama. The situation on the southern border is without question a “challenging situation,” said Harris. People are leaving the countries for different reasons and it is a matter of addressing the causes that are driving people to leave.
Blinken uses meeting with Maas for harsh criticism of Nord Stream 2
Wednesday, March 24th, 3:02 a.m .: The new US Secretary of State Antony Blinken used his first two-way meeting with Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas to sharply criticize the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea gas pipeline. Blinken indirectly accused Germany of playing into the hands of Russia’s efforts to impair collective security by sticking to the project.
After the talks on Tuesday evening, spokesman Ned Price announced on the sidelines of a NATO meeting in Brussels that Blinken had underlined the US’s determination to work with allies and partners to counter this intention by Moscow. In this context, he had reiterated the resistance to the gas pipeline. The Federal Foreign Office did not provide any information on Nord Stream 2 and spoke of a “very good exchange”.
Previously, on the sidelines of the current meeting of NATO foreign ministers, an informal conversation between Blinken, Maas and colleagues from France and Great Britain had taken place. The Foreign Office announced that the “trustful exchange” among the group of four was about Afghanistan, Yemen and Iran. In addition, the “NATO 2030” strategy process was a topic, which is also intended to initiate reforms for closer political cooperation between the alliance partners.
British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab wrote on Twitter that the four NATO countries were standing together as a “positive force” to push for peace in Yemen and to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. However, there was initially no more detailed information on possible agreements between the four ministers.
A few hours before the conversation with Maas – which the US State Department described as “short” – Blinken had already made it clear that the US wanted Nord Stream 2 to be stopped immediately and would not shy away from new sanctions against companies involved in the construction.
So far, the federal government has ruled out political intervention to stop the project. In Berlin it is argued, among other things, that a policy that relies on economic isolation for Russia could harbor great dangers. In addition, a building ruin worth billions should be avoided. After completion, the operation could still be prohibited or conditions attached.
Trump is building his own platform after being kicked out of Twitter
Monday, March 22nd, 6.50 a.m .: According to a consultant, ex-US President Donald Trump is planning his own platform after his suspension on Twitter, Facebook and other Internet services. Trump will return to social media with his own new platform in two to three months, adviser Jason Miller told Fox News. That will “completely redefine the game”.
He assumes that tens of millions of people would then follow Trump again on his new channel. Miller didn’t comment on details. But he said Trump had intensive discussions with various teams about the project in his vacation home Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
Twitter had permanently blocked Trump’s private account with 88 million followers in January. A few days earlier, Trump supporters stormed the seat of the US parliament, the Capitol. Trump had previously urged his supporters via his social media channels to march to the Capitol, where the election of his rival Joe Biden was about to be officially confirmed.
Putin after Biden’s criticism: “I wish him health”
Thursday, March 18, 2 p.m .: Russian President Vladimir Putin wished his US colleague Joe Biden “health” after his serious allegations. “As for the statements made by my American colleague, we are really, as he said, personally acquainted with each other: What would I answer him? I would say to him: Stay healthy! I wish him good health,” Putin said on Thursday. In an interview with the US television broadcaster ABC, Biden had previously answered yes to the question of whether he considered Putin a “killer”.
People often see others as they actually look at themselves, Putin said in his reaction. His wishes for Biden are “without irony and without joke,” he emphasized during a video link with citizens on the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.
Ukraine sees Crimea as its territory according to international law. The USA and Germany had repeatedly called for the peninsula to be returned to Ukraine and sanctioned Russia for annexation. The Kremlin chief also said at the online meeting that Russia is ready to cooperate with the US – albeit in accordance with its own interests.
After Biden’s “killer” statement, Russia wants to review Putin’s relations with the United States
Thursday, March 18, 1:05 p.m .: The dispute between Russia and the United States is intensifying. After US President Joe Biden described President Vladimir Putin as a murderer, the Russian government announced a review of relations with the United States.
“I’m just saying that these are very bad statements by the President of the United States,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov of the Interfax agency on Thursday. In an interview with the US television broadcaster ABC, Biden replied in the affirmative to the question of whether he considered Putin a “killer”. He also described Putin as soulless and threatened him with consequences for alleged Russian interference in the US election in November.
“Of course there has never been anything like this in history,” said Peskow. Biden’s remarks are bad and unprecedented and show that the new US president has no interest in improving relations. Russia will take this into account and think about the nature of the relationship with the US.
Calls for a US apology have been voiced in the Russian parliament. The already announced recall of the Russian ambassador to consultations in Moscow is probably not the last step if no explanation or apology from the American side follows, said the deputy chairman of the Federation Council, the upper house, Konstantin Kosachev.
In a new report, the US secret services accuse Russia of meddling in the presidential election in favor of Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump. Russia denies this. The Russian Foreign Ministry ordered its ambassador Anatoly Antonov back from Washington on Wednesday to hold talks in Moscow on the future of relations with the United States, according to a statement. This should prevent “irreversible damage” to the relationship.