The Federal Government Commissioner for the East, Carsten Schneider, has rejected special rules for the oil embargo for the East German refineries Schwedt and Leuna. “We have national responsibility, I can’t say that just because I’m here in the East, we won’t go along with it,” said the SPD politician to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” (Saturday/Sunday).

Saxony-Anhalt’s Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU) said on Saturday: “We support the oil embargo. However, the federal government is obliged to accompany this step with structural and financial aid for East Germany”. In particular for the East German mineral and chemical industry, there should be no such increase in price that would impair competitiveness. “The East German economy must not become the collateral damage of the embargo policy,” said Haseloff.

The two large refineries in Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg have so far been processing Russian oil from the Druzhba pipeline. 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 the affected federal states, there are concerns about supply bottlenecks, rising prices and the impact on refinery workers.

According to Schneider, the federal government’s decision to phase out Russian oil means that the federal government has a political responsibility for the transformation. The process must be “clean in accordance with the rule of law”, “but also take the Swedes along and give the employees clear, realizable perspectives”. Schneider added: “For me, the supply in East Germany must be guaranteed, in sufficient quantities and at normal prices.”