“We are more than just neighbours”

The Federal Chancellor in Norway and Sweden “We are more than just neighbours”

United by shared values: on his visit to Norway, Federal Chancellor Scholz underlined the close friendship between Germany and the Nordic countries. Scholz said that Finland and Sweden joining NATO would certainly strengthen all of northern Europe. It was a joint goal to promote the freedom, security and territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, he continued.

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the Nordic-German meeting

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the Nordic-German meeting with Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin and Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson (l.t.r.).

Photo: Federal Government/Kugler

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz referred to the regular exchange between the Nordic countries as a good example of close dialogue and coordination. During his visit to Norway on Monday, Scholz said that “Germany supports this type of forum among some of our key European partners in NATO and in the EU”.

Democracy, rule of law, human rights

The meeting had shown once more “that we are far more than just European neighbours. We are united through shared values and positions, and in particular through our firm commitment to democracy, the rule of law, human rights and a rule-based international order,” the Federal Chancellor highlighted.

Russia violates international order

Scholz pointed out that the Nordic countries and Germany were facing the same challenges. This applied to the consequences of the global climate crisis, as well as the current threat to a rule-based international order. He called Russia’s war against Ukraine “an extreme example of a violation of this order”.

Determined to continue to support Ukraine

The Federal Chancellor’s statement also contained a clear message: “We stand united against such cruelties with our partners Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. We promote freedom, security, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.”

Scholz announced that the comprehensive long-term support for Ukraine would be continued: in the form of political, military, financial and humanitarian resources and aid, as well as with regard to rebuilding Ukraine. “Today’s meeting has confirmed our determination to continue these efforts,” Scholz stressed.

NATO accessions will strengthen security in northern Europe

The shared goal was to reduce the global effects of the war unleashed on Ukraine by Putin, Scholz said, mentioning poorer food and energy security as examples.

He continued to say that the close cooperation between “our allies and Nordic friends” and Germany would deepen further in the future. “Germany is particularly pleased to be able to welcome two more Nordic partners – Finland and Sweden – to NATO in the near future. This is going to ensure security for northern Europe, Germany and the transatlantic alliance,” the Federal Chancellor underlined.

“We can rely on Norway”

Following bilateral talks with Norway’s state premier Jonas Gahr Støre, the Federal Chancellor expressed his gratitude for the recently increased natural gas deliveries from Norway to Germany: “We can rely on Norway. And we are very glad that the decision-makers in Norway are doing everything to ensure good supply for Germany and other European partners.”

Talks at the Nordic-German Meeting: Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz thanked the host, Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, for the invitation to come to Oslo. He also expressed his gratitude to the state premiers of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen, Iceland, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Sweden, Magdalena Andersson and Finland, Sanna Marin, for the warm welcome and the talks in the context of the Nordic-German meeting. This meeting was realised as part of the meeting of the Nordic Prime Ministers.

From Oslo to Stockholm

On Tuesday morning, Scholz met with Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson in the Swedish capital Stockholm for one-on-one talks over breakfast.

Germany and Sweden were “very, very close partners – bilaterally, in the European Union and also internationally”, said Scholz. “And they will become even closer when Sweden has joined NATO – that’s something I am firmly convinced of,” he added.

Sweden’s NATO accession – a historic step

The Federal Chancellor described the application of Sweden and Finland for NATO membership as a historic step. “The signing of the accession protocols by all 30 Allies at the NATO summit in Madrid was no less historic – both for the Alliance and for Europe.”

The Federal Government welcomed Sweden’s sovereign decision to join the NATO, said Scholz. "With Finland and Sweden, we are gaining two valued allies who will strengthen NATO’s defence capabilities and therefore enhance security for all of us,” the Federal Chancellor emphasised.

Expansion of renewable energies

The Russian attack on Ukraine showed how important it was to reduce dependence on fossil energy imports, the Federal Chancellor warned. What was needed, however, was not only alternative suppliers of energy and raw materials, but also an ambitious national and European energy and climate protection policy, added Scholz.

“The goal must be to massively accelerate the expansion of renewable energies,” said the Federal Chancellor. The phase-out of fossil energy sources was not just a necessity from the point of view of climate policy, he said, “but – as we now understand – a security policy imperative as well.”

The current situation was making the transformation of industry towards climate neutrality – something that both Sweden and Germany were aiming for – even more urgent, so as to secure supplies and price stability, said Scholz.

Ongoing close cooperation

Germany and Sweden were aware of the importance of their cooperation, said the Federal Chancellor, which was why the two countries were collaborating closely in the field of battery cell research, for example.

He also referred to the equally close cooperation in the European Union. “I welcome the fact that Sweden will be taking over the EU Council Presidency at the beginning of next year. I can assure you that we will provide all the support that is possible and necessary,” Scholz said, addressing Prime Minister Andersson.

Sweden and Germany would also continue to advance their ambitious EU climate and biodiversity goals under the European Green Deal and the “Fit for 55” package, said the Federal Chancellor.