The more difficult the times we live in, the more important strong partnerships are – and we as Europeans have no stronger partner than the United States. That is precisely what I want to demonstrate by traveling to Washington – to show the high priority we attach to transatlantic relations. That applies not only with regard to current political and security topics, but also on a wider scale: for example, in the area of the economy and to global issues such as how to address the climate crisis. In this context, the strength of the transatlantic alliance cannot be measured in terms of tanks and missiles, but first and foremost by how well we pull together when it comes to the crunch – when we are called to defend basic tenets of international law and have to stand up for our common values. We are determined to work together to protect the peaceful European order.
During our meeting, my colleague Antony Blinken and I will continue our discussions on many topics that we already talked about at the G7 meeting in Liverpool and on various other occasions. With regard to Russia, the joint message sent by Europeans and the US administration is unmistakeable: Russia’s activities come with a clear price tag, the only way out of the crisis is via dialogue. We have repeatedly emphasised this to the Russian Government in no uncertain terms over the past days and weeks. Now we are entering a crucial phase, in which key talks are planned at different levels. And even though the discussion formats may vary, our messages as transatlantic partners to the government in Moscow are always the same.
Nonetheless, one day before the first anniversary of the storming of the Capitol, I travel to Washington not only as Foreign Minister but also as a staunch democrat and parliamentarian. In the EU and the G7 we are united by the goal to strengthen democracies and make them more resilient to withstand threats from both within and without. I am delighted to have the opportunity today to discuss this issue also with Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, for we intend to focus on this goal, as well as on climate diplomacy, during Germany’s current G7 Presidency. On these issues, too, it is crucial to remember that we will only be successful if we address the challenges together as partners. That requires us to strengthen democratic institutions, also in our own countries, and to demonstrate more clearly the huge value they have for us.