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Scholz visits Andersson: Berlin and Stockholm are taking different approaches to the energy transition

Scholz visits Andersson
Berlin and Stockholm are taking different approaches to the energy transition

Sweden and Germany want to become less dependent on fossil fuels. While Berlin, according to Chancellor Scholz, relies on renewable energy, Sweden’s Prime Minister Andersson prefers nuclear power. On the other hand, there is agreement on the Scandinavians joining NATO.

Germany and Sweden want to work closely together on the expansion of renewable energies, but continue to pursue different paths when it comes to nuclear power. In view of the gas crisis resulting from the Russian war in Ukraine, moving away from fossil fuels is also a “security policy imperative,” said Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz during a visit to Stockholm. The Chancellor also made it clear there that he no longer sees any major hurdles in the way of Sweden and Finland joining NATO.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said the war in Ukraine had shown “how important it is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels”. She added: “In Sweden we are preparing for difficult times.” Sweden continues to rely on nuclear power and will continue to do so “for a long time”, said Andersson at the joint press conference with Scholz. However, there are no plans to build new nuclear power plants. The chancellor said that each country had to make “its own decisions” on energy policy. “In other countries, nuclear power plays a role,” he added.

Regarding the expected NATO accession of Sweden and Finland, the Chancellor said: “I am very confident that things will happen very quickly now.” He expects that those NATO countries that have not yet ratified entry “will do so soon – including Turkey”. Accession will strengthen “NATO’s ability to defend itself and thus our security”. He is “historic”.

Sweden deports first Turkish citizen

Andersson announced that her country would continue with the extraditions requested by Turkey. A few days ago, Sweden announced the first deportation of a Turkish citizen since the dispute with Turkey over its NATO membership. It is about a Turk convicted of credit card fraud.

Turkey has repeatedly threatened to block the Nordic countries from joining NATO if they do not comply with Turkey’s demands. Turkey justified this with the alleged Swedish and Finnish support of “terrorist organizations” – meaning above all supporters of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party and the movement of the Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.

In June, Turkey, Sweden and Finland signed an agreement that should make accession possible. Human rights and freedom of expression activists warned that under no circumstances should persecuted Turkish opposition figures living in exile be extradited to Ankara as a result of the agreement. Critics of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are quickly classified as “terror suspects” in Turkey.

Seven countries have yet to say yes to NATO membership

The process of admitting the Nordic countries into NATO has already started. However, each of the 30 member countries must ratify accession individually. The Bundestag has already given its approval. According to the federal government, ratification by seven countries is still pending.

NATO’s northward expansion could change the military balance of power in the strategically important region of northern Europe. Finland would also give the military alliance a new, 1,300-kilometer direct border with Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin has already accused NATO of “imperial ambitions”.

In the town of Södertälje near Stockholm, Scholz and Andersson also visited a plant belonging to the Swedish vehicle manufacturer Scania. Scania is working there together with the German parent company Volkswagen on concepts for the climate-friendly electrification of heavy goods traffic. The aim is to make freight transport more environmentally friendly, especially over long distances. The Scania visit was the last stop on Scholz’s trip to Scandinavia, which began in Norway on Monday.

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