PARIS ( Associated Press) — France and Germany pledged Sunday to offer “unwavering support” to Ukraine and strengthen the European Union as they seek to bridge differences over defense, energy and the economy as they mark the 60th anniversary of their treaty. mark the anniversary. War II.
The entire German government cabinet traveled to Paris for bilateral meetings with their French counterparts, and around 300 legislators from both countries met at the Sorbonne University on the day of the ceremony and talks.
The war in Ukraine has highlighted differences in strategies between the two countries, particularly with regard to how to deal with the energy crisis and crushing inflation caused by the conflict, as well as European negotiations on future military investment.
Both countries have supplied a fair amount of weapons to Ukraine, but Kyiv has been requesting higher-powered tanks and weapons for the war with Russia, which continues. Berlin is under pressure to approve the shipment of German-made Leopard 2 tanks.
During a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron said he was not ruling out the possibility of sending Leclerc tanks to Ukraine, and asked his defense minister to “work” on a plan. Is.
Scholz did not comment on whether Germany would agree to send the Leopard, instead noting what his country has already brought to Ukraine.
“America is doing a lot. Germany is doing a lot too,” the Chancellor declared. “We have continually expanded our delivery with highly effective weapons that are already available today. And we’ve always coordinated these decisions together with our most important allies and friends.”
In a joint statement, the two countries said they would “continue to show unwavering support for Ukraine in all possible areas” and “we will be with Ukraine for as long as it takes.”
France and Germany pledged to “work together for an EU that is stronger, more sustainable and more able to act independently.” The treaty that sealed the bond between the old foes 60 years ago forms the basis of the current EU.
“Let us use our inseparable friendship … to shape the present and future of our continent together with our European allies,” Scholz said at a ceremony at the Sorbonne.
Scholz said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “imperialism” “will not win … We will not allow Europe to return to a time when politics was replaced by violence and our continent was ravaged by hatred and national rivalries.” “
For his part, Macron called for “a new energy model” in the EU based on encouraging a diverse supply and production of energy obtained without generating carbon.
In their joint declaration, Paris and Berlin pledged to “strengthen their investments in tomorrow’s technologies, especially renewable and low-carbon energy”. In particular, they committed to the development of a “joint plan” on the exploitation of hydrogen.
He said a pipeline being jointly developed by Spain, France and Portugal to transport green hydrogen produced from renewable resources would be extended to Germany.
The so-called H2Med submarine pipeline from the Iberian Peninsula to France is due to go into operation in 2030. It is expected to transport up to 2 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year, which is equivalent to 10% of total consumption. European Union, according to Spanish officials.
Schultheis reported from Berlin. Angela Charlton in Paris, Frank Jordan in Berlin and Raquel Redondo in Madrid contributed to this report.