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With German Chancellor Olaf Scholz set to visit the White House amid growing criticism of its approach to the Russia-Ukraine tensions, Biden administration spokeswoman Jen Psaki defended the NATO ally.

Germany vetoed a request from Estonia to send artillery rounds to Ukraine last week, with German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht saying, "Weapons deliveries would not be helpful at the moment.

" The move and others undercut unity between the United States and Europeans, according to critics, but Psaki said there's more than one successful approach to diplomacy.

GERMAN CHANCELLOR TO VISIT WHITE HOUSE AMID NATO TENSIONS

"Our view is that unity does not mean identical," she said Thursday. "There are a range of capacities, capabilities, legal authorities that different countries have."

What is most important is being united against the bellicose rhetoric, the buildup of troops, and the potential of Russia invading a sovereign country in Ukraine, Psaki added.

Germany's decision to block Estonia's weapons aid coincided with an unguarded statement by Germany’s top naval officer, who resigned last weekend amid a backlash against his comment that Russian President Vladimir Putin is threatening Ukraine out of a desire for “respect” from Europe.

Germany's recent actions have led to complaints it is not a reliable ally.

But that's not the case, according to the White House.

"We have found Germany to be very much united with us in that effort, as we have found with other European countries," said Psaki.

Another factor is that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which is supposed to travel from Russia to Germany, is threatened by the situation and would represent a large economic blow to both nations if it isn't completed.

Scholz will visit the White House on Feb. 7 to meet with President Joe Biden, the first visit from a German chancellor following the 16-year run of Angela Merkel, as the two sides discuss how to move forward.

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"There are a range of capabilities and capacities different countries are going to be providing," Psaki said. "Germany has provided a range. Other countries have provided a range. What's most important is looking at the totality of how we're all working to help support Ukraine."

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Karine Jean-Pierre holds first briefing as White House press secretary

(CNN)Karine Jean-Pierre held her first briefing as White House press secretary on Monday after making history as the first Black and out LGBTQ person to step into one of the most visible roles in the administration.

"I am a Black, gay, immigrant woman. The first of all three of those to hold this position," Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday. She said, "If it were not for generations of barrier-breaking people before me I would not be here. But I benefit from their sacrifices, I have learned from their excellence and I am forever grateful to them."
    "Representation does matter -- you hear us say this often in this administration, and no one understands this better than President (Joe) Biden," Jean-Pierre said.
      Jean-Pierre has briefed reporters in her previous role of principal deputy White House press secretary many times, both from the podium in the White House briefing room but more often off-camera on Air Force One. Last May she became the second Black woman in history to hold the daily press briefing. Read MoreShe has served on the White House's senior communications team since Biden took office, and prior to that was an adviser to his campaign and chief of staff to now-Vice President Kamala Harris. Jean-Pierre has traveled with the President on several occasions, including when she replaced Psaki at the last minute for Biden's four-day trip to Europe amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine after Psaki tested positive for Covid-19. Jean-Pierre's family includes her partner, CNN national correspondent Suzanne Malveaux, and their daughter.
        Psaki had long been public about her intention to leave the job after one year. CNN has reported Psaki will be joining MSNBC.
          After Psaki's departure and Jean-Pierre's promotion was announced by the President, Psaki invited Jean-Pierre up to the podium and gave an emotional tribute to her colleague and friend. The two women embraced as Psaki went through Jean-Pierre's qualifications and the significance of her taking the job. "She will be the first Black woman, the first out LGBTQ+ person to serve in this role, which is amazing because representation matters and she is going to, she will give a voice to so many and allow and show so many what is truly possible when you work hard, and dream big and that matters, and ... we should celebrate that," Psaki said.

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