Against the background of high energy prices and the war in Ukraine, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz received Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, at the Chancellery. “The turning point marked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine has a massive impact on all of us,” said the Federal Chancellor.
He continued to point out that the Russian President had made gas deliveries to the West come to a near-total halt. “By stopping gas deliveries, President Putin aims to weaken and destabilise the European democracies. He will not succeed. He has made a misjudgement, as we Europeans are standing side by side in solidarity.”
High energy prices – a problem
In view of gas and energy prices, the Federal Chancellor said: “Prices are currently much higher than is justified.” He explained that the high energy prices were a problem for our countries, and that it was now key to do everything we can to reduce prices. In this context it was vital for the market to relax.
The EU would continue to cooperate closely in the weeks ahead to decrease dependency on Russian fossil, said EU Council President Charles Michel. He continued saying that energy and supply sources had to be expanded as Russia was not a reliable player. Charles Michel: “We must remain calm now and not be intimidated by the threats that are repeatedly expressed and by the comments from the Kremlin that aim to intimidate us.”
“We must increase our ability to act. We must be fit for the challenges ahead of us owing to the change of times and posed by the world to come. We want a sovereign Europe that is stronger, more stable and safer and whose voice is heard across the world. This is key and this is what we are committed to.” Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz
Support for Ukraine
EU Council President Michel stressed that it was more obvious than ever before that Europe needed unity. He explained that the EU wished to continue to exert pressure on the Kremlin with regard to realising sanction measures in order to show “that the European Union stands united against the unfounded and unjustified attack on Ukraine”.
In addition, support for Ukraine would continue: on a military, humanitarian, political, as well as financial level. Over the next few weeks, the European Union is going to disburse another five billion euros worth of loans to Ukraine. The Federal Chancellor said that Germany was giving a direct grant of one billion euros to Ukraine. These loans are intended to help Ukraine cover its expenditure.