Norway’s Ambassador elaborates
“The submarine deal with Germany is unique”
By Andrea Sellmann and Mary Abdelaziz-Ditzow
12/15/2022 09:43 am
Norway and Germany jointly build six submarines. In an interview with ntv, the Norwegian Ambassador Larsen praised the cooperation as an important contribution to the defense of Europe. The deal also brings the two countries closer together economically.
Norway borders Russia in the extreme north-east. The nearly 200-kilometer-long land border also forms the dividing line between Russia and NATO. There is also a 23 km long maritime border. The Russian war of aggression in Ukraine is increasingly focusing on the geographical proximity of both countries.
As a NATO member, Norway is firmly on the side of the West – also militarily: “It has become very clear that Russia is a regional threat to Europe,” says Torgeir Larsen in the ntv podcast “Wirtschaft Welt & Weit” about the Russian attack on Ukraine. The Norwegian ambassador to Germany was formerly chief of staff to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. For him, Putin’s invasion changed Europe a lot.
The fact that Germany and Norway have now launched a comprehensive submarine cooperation is an important signal for Larsen: “The deal with Germany is unique and important for the defense of Europe,” emphasizes the ambassador.
Major order worth 5.5 billion euros
The German-Norwegian submarine deal provides for six submarines to be built at ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems in Kiel. Two of them are intended for the German Navy, four are going to Norway. The construction phase is already underway, and construction is scheduled to start in September 2023.
The Type 212CD submarines are primarily intended to help secure NATO’s northern flank in the Atlantic. At the same time, however, they could also be used in the comparatively flat Baltic Sea. However, it will be another seven years before the first of the six submarines flying the Norwegian flag can put to sea.
The effects on the economy, on the other hand, hit faster. The defense policy project not only goes hand in hand with joint training and education, but above all with bilateral industrial cooperation: On the one hand, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems has booked a major order worth 5.5 billion euros. On the other hand, the Norwegian economy also benefits. Because the deal provides for innovative Norwegian companies to receive orders as part of the project, for example as suppliers. Money not only flows from Norway to Germany, but also back. A win-win situation from which both countries benefit.
Energy infrastructure under water
Norway has always been an energy nation. Norway has been Germany’s most important natural gas supplier since the Ukraine war: around a third of the gas used in this country comes from the Kingdom. Norway became rich through raw materials such as oil. However, the country relies mainly on hydropower for its own energy supply. In addition, 1,500 new wind turbines are to be built at sea by 2040. In the future, Norway and Germany want to work even more closely together on the expansion of renewable energies.
For Michael Kern, Managing Director of the Chamber of Commerce Abroad in Oslo, it is now more important than ever to protect the energy infrastructure. For him, this also includes the pipeline network under water, which is intended to transport natural gas and, in the future, also hydrogen. The submarine deal between Germany and Norway, he hopes, will play its part.
What does Germany have to do in order to still play an important role in the economic world of tomorrow? Who are we dependent on? Which countries benefit from the new world situation? Mary Abdelaziz-Ditzow discusses this in the ntv podcast “Wirtschaft Welt & Weit” with relevant experts.
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