Germany and France on Friday pledged to support each other in averting a possible energy crisis after supplies from Russia dry up amid the war in Ukraine.
As part of a joint agreement signed by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, Germany will supply France with electricity while also receiving much-needed natural gas.
“Friends help each other in need,” Scholz said after the signing ceremony in Berlin.
Borne echoed that sentiment, saying that the friendship between the two European heavyweights is crucial. “It has proven that it can withstand tests and overcome many challenges,” she said.
Before Russia launched the war in Ukraine nine months ago, Germany was heavily dependent on Russian gas supplies. Since then, Germany has tried to find other sources, including increasing imports of liquefied natural gas.
Meanwhile, France is struggling to meet electricity needs due to repairs to some of its nuclear power plants. There are concerns that a sharp increase in electricity demand from France this winter, coupled with lower output in Germany and limited transmission capacity in Europe, could put a strain on the continent’s electricity grid.
In response, France said it would supply up to 100 gigawatt-hours of gas per day to Germany. Meanwhile, Germany will “maximize connectivity” to export electricity.
Under the agreement, Berlin will also allow “all available reserve power plants to return to the market and postpone the phasing out of the remaining nuclear power plants until mid-April 2023 so that even provide more electricity trading volume for France”.