Die Welt: Poland will help Germany free itself from Russian oil
Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) has announced that Germany will end its import of Russian oil in the near future. His plans accelerated after Tuesday’s meeting with representatives of the Polish government, writes “Welt” on Wednesday.
– Germany is now prepared in case the EU imposes an oil embargo on Russia or Moscow stops deliveries on its own initiative. A few weeks ago I would have said: Oh God, Germany can’t stand it. Today I would no longer say that,” Habeck declared on Twitter.
The agreement with Poland has changed the minister’s mind, according to “Die Welt”. After a meeting with Poland’s Climate and Environment Minister Anna Moskva on Tuesday in Warsaw, the two countries decided to “intensify cooperation in the oil sector so that a stable energy supply can be realised as soon as possible, independent of oil imports from Russia”.
As Habeck explained, Germany’s dependence on Russian oil supplies has already been reduced from 35 per cent to just 12 per cent.
However, the biggest logistical problem for Germany remained securing supplies to the East German PCK refinery in Schwedt/Oder. Oil there is supplied directly from Russia via the Druzhba pipeline. This refinery covers 90 per cent of the fuel demand in northeast Germany and is majority-owned by Russia’s Rosneft, “which for obvious reasons is not looking for alternative oil suppliers”. – emphasises the “Welt”.
The refinery in Schwedt could alternatively be supplied by the port of Rostock, but it does not have sufficient infrastructure.
– That is why a solidarity agreement was concluded with Poland, Habeck reported after his meeting with Minister Moscow. – As PCK Schwedt also supplies western Poland, it is also in the interest of the neighbouring country to keep the refinery running.
The solution agreed with Poland is that the Schwedt refinery will continue to be served by the “Friendship” pipeline. But in the event of a crisis, the pipe does not necessarily have to be filled with crude by Russia.
– Instead, supertankers with oil from Middle Eastern countries or the USA could be diverted to Gdansk. The port is connected to the +Friendship+ pipeline by a branch, which allows a capacity of up to 30 million tonnes per year and is currently being expanded – explains Welt and emphasises that this amount is sufficient to supply the refinery in Schwedt, which processes around 12 million tonnes of crude oil per year.
Poland rejects the immediate implementation of this option because, as Habeck stresses, Warsaw does not want to use Polish oil to secure a refinery on German territory, owned by Rosneft.
– But in the event of an embargo or a change of operator in Schwedt, Poland’s solidarity would be assured, the minister adds.
Since Poland, like other Eastern European countries, has been calling on the federal government for weeks to take tougher action against Russia, Warsaw cannot refuse this energy cooperation, the Welt adds, and wonders “whether such intervention would not become tantamount to expropriation of Russian shareholders”.