German econ min makes unannounced visit to Kyiv, aims to strengthen energy partnership
ARD / Clean Energy Wire
Germany’s economy and climate minister Robert Habeck is visiting Kyiv in a bid to strengthen cooperation in the energy sector and discuss Ukraine’s reconstruction following Russia’s war of aggression, broadcaster ARD reported. “The desire and the strategic plans – and these are security plans of the Ukrainians – are to make the energy system broader and more decentralised,” Habeck said during his unannounced visit, and added that this was an invitation to bid farewell to fossil fuels. Ukraine should be given a clear signal that “we believe it will be victorious, that it will be rebuilt, that there is an interest in Europe not only to support [Ukraine] in times of need, but that Ukraine will also be an economically strong partner in the future,” the Green Party minister said.
With his visit, he aims to relaunch the German-Ukrainian energy partnership, which was first signed in 2020 to promote the shift towards renewable energy production. According to ARD, this includes increasing energy efficiency, modernising the power sector, expanding renewable energies and saving greenhouse gases. Habeck was accompanied by a delegation of German business representatives, including Siegfried Russwurm, head of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), who said the trip should “signal to the Ukrainians that the German business community also stands by them.” Associations from the German and Ukrainian renewable energy industry have recently agreed to work together more closely to speed up the energy transition in both countries. Energy exports to western Europe are one of the pillars a future Ukrainian economy could rest on, German chancellor Olaf Scholz and Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in October.