Brandenburg is pushing for written commitments to help in the event of an oil embargo. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) had assured at the weekend that such an import stop should not lead to regional price differences at the petrol pumps, and emphasized: “We all bear the costs of the war together.”
Steinbach said on Monday on the RBB Inforadio: “It’s still a little too little for me, with all the goodwill.” Steinbach emphasized that he believes Scholz. But he would still like to see the written EU approval for possible help.
The refinery in Schwedt, Brandenburg, processes Russian pipeline oil. Although the EU states recently agreed that in future no more tanker oil, but crude oil may continue to be imported into the EU via pipelines, the German government is planning a comprehensive import ban on Russian oil from next year because of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.
In a letter to the Federal Ministry of Economics last week, Brandenburg’s state government called for 100 percent operation of the Schwedt refinery. The PCK refinery there supplies large parts of eastern Germany with petroleum products. Leuna in Saxony-Anhalt is also an important refinery site where Russian oil is processed.
An answer to the letter to the Ministry of Economic Affairs is still pending, said Steinbach. He warned that the people in the region should not be expected to face long periods of impasse.
Scholz promised East Germany support in dealing with the consequences of the Russia sanctions at the East German Economic Forum in Bad Saarow on Sunday evening. “We said from the start: We’re not doing anything that harms us more than Putin,” said the Chancellor. “We always keep an eye on East Germany, which due to its history and geography naturally has different requirements in terms of security of supply and affordability of energy.”
Scholz reiterated the goal of becoming independent of Russian energy imports – “as quickly as possible, but also as safely as necessary”.
The extensive oil embargo against Russia, which was agreed at the EU summit at the end of May, “also has consequences for us in Germany,” admitted Scholz. “I’m thinking of Leuna and here in Brandenburg of the refinery in Schwedt, which has so far been attached to the Druzhba pipeline.”
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An alternative delivery via the port of Gdansk is already emerging for Leuna, said Scholz. “For Schwedt, the matter is more complicated. But there, too, a working group of the Federal Ministry of Economics is working together with other ministries and the state on a very specific solution,” assured Scholz. “And I’m confident that we’ll make quick progress here too.”