Scholz says Germany considers receiving gas, oil from Iraq
The Iraqi PM says his cabinet signed a memorandum of understanding with German energy giant Siemens to increase energy production.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz indicated on Friday that Germany favors the idea of Iraq becoming one of its suppliers of gas and oil to avoid dependence on one supplier.
Scholz held joint talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad Shia Al-Sudani, where the two leaders discussed the topic of gas supplies.
At a press conference with Al-Sudani, the German Chancellor pointed out that Germany would like to import energy resources from various sources in order to avoid dependence on one supplier.
"Unlike in the past, we will not depend on individual suppliers, but we will mobilize many others, cooperate closely with them," he said.
He considered that "Iraq would be a welcome partner for us in terms of gas and oil imports to Germany."
On his part, Al-Sudani said that "a positive spirit prevailed in our meeting with the German chancellor, and we will establish a strategic partnership," adding that "Germany supported Iraq in security and intelligence, and there is an advisory team working with the Iraqi forces."
He noted that Baghdad has offered opportunities to German companies to invest in using Iraq's natural gas and the gas generated as a byproduct from oil production, adding that Iraq wants to deliver gas through a pipeline via Turkey to Europe.
"Iraq is an important country in the field of energy in terms of oil production and strategic storage, and we have plans to invest in natural gas, and we have large reserves that have not been invested," Al-Sudani affirmed, calling on German companies to "invest in the gas sector."
According to the Iraqi Premier, the two discussed the file of "recovering smuggled funds from Iraq and restoring antiquities, and we touched on benefiting from Germany's experience in the field of renewable energy and confronting climate change."
The Iraqi Prime Minister also announced that his government signed a memorandum of understanding with German energy giant Siemens to increase energy production, improve its transportation and reduce waste, and maintain energy stability.
A spokesperson for Siemens told Reuters that the company plans to expand its cooperation with the Iraqi government by developing the country’s power sector and renewable energies.
Al-Sudani arrived Thursday in Germany at the head of a high-ranking government delegation in an official visit.
Germany, which used to receive 55% of its gas imports from Russia, has been seeking to diversify its Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) imports to avoid heavy reliance on a few exporters, after deals with Qatar and the United States.
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It is noteworthy that in late December 2022, Wolfgang Kubicki, the Vice-President of the German Parliament, warned that Germany could soon become a dysfunctional, bankrupt state if it stays on the same path it is currently on and fails to deal with the ongoing energy crisis in light of its imbalanced financial policies.
"If we continue that way and want to provide energy assistance for years, then we could face state bankruptcy rather than state socialism," Kubicki told the German Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
According to the Parliament's Deputy Speaker, the extra money Germany is currently planning to spend on energy imports from elsewhere than Russia would be withdrawn from other areas, as the surplus can be "neither printed on a money printing machine nor covered by taxpayers."
German left-wing politician and chairman of the Bundestag committee on energy, Klaus Ernst, commented back in September on statements by Chancellor Olaf Scholz that the sanctions should not hit Europe harder than Russia itself.
"We have now imposed seven packages of sanctions and Gazprom is making record profits. At the same time, we are threatened with a wave of bankruptcies. Therefore: negotiate with Russia with an open mind," Ernst pointed out.
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