Dhe head of the Federal Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Tasks Wolfgang Schmidt (SPD) has appealed to companies to invest in Ukraine. “We will also have to support Ukraine when the war is over,” said Schmidt at the technology conference DLD in Munich. State aid packages would not be sufficient for this. “It also needs private capital,” said Schmidt. Businesses should see Ukraine as an “investment opportunity”. The Ukrainian technology sector in particular offers highly qualified specialists.
Schmidt is considered the Chancellor’s closest confidant Olaf Scholz (SPD). Schmidt described himself at the DLD as the “caretaker” of the federal government. The head of the chancellery again used his appearance at the technology conference to explain and defend the government’s policy. “We made it through this difficult time well,” said Schmidt.
In particular, he emphasized the elimination of dependence on Russian gas: “We have solved the problem of energy security.” A few months ago, many would have believed that it was impossible to reduce dependence on Russian gas from 55 percent to 0 percent or one LNG terminal to build in 10 months. Schmidt said he was confident that another five to six LNG terminals would be completed over the course of the year. In fact, a gas shortage for the winter seems increasingly unlikely, but this is also related to the above-average mild temperatures.
Delivery stop “would not have been possible”
Schmidt also defended the decision not to impose a supply freeze on Russian gas as early as spring 2022. “That wouldn’t have been possible, the gas storage tanks were pretty much empty.” A delivery stop would have been good for PR, but it wasn’t sustainable at the time. A group of economists advocated this at the time. According to their calculations, the German economy would have survived a stop in Russian gas supplies in March 2022.
Also the current financial and military support of the Ukraine must be “sustainable,” said Schmidt. Among other things, Chancellor Scholz is focusing on convincing countries in Africa and South America that are still undecided, such as Argentina, Senegal and India, to support Ukraine and not Russia. Ukraine must also turn to such states to “oppose something against Russian propaganda.”