Annalena Baerbock, Federal Foreign Minister, welcomes her counterparts to the meeting of the CBSS. © Jens Büttner/dpa
Moscow also determines the meeting of the Baltic Sea countries in the Hanseatic city of Wismar. It is about increased cooperation in the energy transition - and a common treasure.
Wismar - In view of the Russian attack on Ukraine, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has stressed the importance of close cooperation between the Baltic Sea countries. "The security of each of us is the security of all of us - especially here in the Baltic Sea region," said the Green politician on Thursday at the beginning of a meeting of foreign ministers of the Council of the Baltic Sea States in Wismar in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The war in Ukraine is also a turning point for the region and especially for the Council.
Germany holds the Presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States until July. Founded in 1992 and based in Stockholm, the regional body includes Germany, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Sweden, Iceland and the EU.
"The Baltic Sea is our common treasure. So let's protect this treasure," Baerbock said. The region offers enormous potential for strengthening mutual security and resilience, stressed the German Foreign Minister against the backdrop of the planned expansion of offshore wind energy.
Construction Minister Geywitz in favour of accelerating the energy transition
Federal Building Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD) pleaded for an accelerated energy transition. This is necessary "to make us independent of fossil fuels". The Ministers for Spatial Planning of the Baltic Sea States will meet with Geywitz at the same time as the Foreign Ministers in the Hanseatic city. The consequences of the war also play a major role in this circle.
Baerbock came to Wismar in a German government plane together with some colleagues directly from the NATO foreign ministers' meeting in the Norwegian capital Oslo. She emphasized that they would talk about how to prevent attempts at division emanating from Russia and how to protect the habitat for future generations. The deliberations of the Council of the Baltic Sea States will also deal with the salvage of old ammunition from the sea.
Russia's membership in the Council of the Baltic Sea States was suspended in March 2022. As a result, Moscow declared its withdrawal in May 2022. Until the attack on Ukraine, the Council was one of the rounds in which concrete cooperation on technical issues with Moscow was possible.
The blowing up of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea is also likely to play a role in the consultations. Three of the four tubes of the german-Russian energy project had been destroyed by explosions in September 2022. It is not yet clear who is responsible for this. Concrete results were not expected on this topic in the CBSS.
Ammunition dumps in the Baltic Sea
Baerbock had announced in 2022 that Germany would devote particular attention to the old ammunition dumps in the Baltic Sea from the Second World War during its Council Presidency. In addition to a threat to shipping traffic, these could also pose a threat to wind turbines.
Fatal accident on dairy farm: 19-year-old crushed by fertilizer spreader
Sensational find in the mudflats: "It's what everyone was looking for"
19-year-old trapped by fertilizer spreader: fatally injured
Klinikum Bad Bramstedt applies for protective shield proceedings
New permanent exhibition opens at the Jewish Museum
Fancy a voyage of discovery?
According to estimates by the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research, there are up to 400,000 tons of conventional ammunition and about 40,000 tons of chemical warfare agents dumped in the Baltic Sea after the world wars. Baerbock and her colleagues were shown by an expert from the institute how old ammunition can be tracked down and removed.
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig made it clear during a joint appearance with Baerbock that she would like to see more speed in the recovery of old ammunition. "We have to start quickly together with the salvage," said the SPD politician.
Discussion on the expansion of offshore wind energy
In the evening, Baerbock wanted to talk to her colleagues behind closed doors about the expansion of renewable energies. "Renewable energies make us independent of energy imports and are our trump card in the fight against the climate crisis," said the minister.
In addition to onshore wind power and solar energy, offshore wind power is a central pillar in the expansion of green electricity in Germany. In the coalition agreement, the traffic light government has significantly increased the expansion targets for offshore wind energy compared to the previous government. Instead of 20 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 and 40 GW by 2040, it is now to be 30 GW by 2030, 40 GW by 2035 and 70 GW by 2045. Dpa