Joe Biden “knows Germany well,” said Angela Merkel.

She says she is ready to face the “global problems” of the United States “side by side”, citing climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Germans and Europeans know that we must take on additional responsibilities in partnership” with the United States, urges Merkel, whose country holds the six-month presidency of the European Union (EU).

Earlier, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he was convinced that the dialogue between Washington and Berlin would be easier with President Biden, citing as an example the controversial issue of the defense budget allocated by NATO member states.

Donald Trump has constantly criticized Germany because its defense budget is below 2% of GDP, a goal set by the North Atlantic Alliance for its member states.

In an interview with the public radio station Deutschlandfunk, Maas said he did not think the issue would be as much of Biden’s attention as it was during Trump’s term.

According to the head of German diplomacy, the dispute over military spending will not end during the Biden administration, but will take place in a different style.