Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has assured the East German states of federal solidarity with regard to challenges in the energy sector due to the consequences of the Ukraine war. “The federal government has these challenges in mind,” said Scholz on Monday after a meeting with the East German prime ministers on the island of Riems in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. He referred to the intended waiver of energy supplies from Russia. The aim of the federal government is to limit the effects of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine in Germany. This applies to eastern Germany, but also to general relief for citizens because of the high energy prices, Scholz referred to the relief packages decided by the government for this purpose.

The war is exacerbating challenges that exist anyway because of the pending restructuring of the energy industry for climate protection, said Scholz. He emphasized that eastern Germany could “play a leading role” in this transformation towards a climate-neutral economy.

After the consultations with Scholz, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) insisted on a secure and affordable energy supply, but also clearly supported the sanctions against Russia. “It is quite clear that the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine must have consequences,” said Schwesig. This applies specifically to the goal of independence from Russian oil and Russian gas. In order to find a short-term replacement, Schwesig campaigned for the transport of oil via the port of Rostock to the refinery in Schwedt, Brandenburg. In addition, the existing large distribution network for the transport of liquid gas due to the Nord Stream pipelines in Lubmin in Western Pomerania should be used.

Where infrastructure is being built, this should be done in such a way that it can also be “connected to hydrogen technologies” in the future. “Together with the federal government, we want to ensure that we continue to guarantee affordable energy prices for the whole of Germany,” stressed Schwesig.