In view of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) is calling for even closer solidarity with the countries in the Baltic Sea region at the Baltic Sea Council in Wismar. Russia “not only broke with international law, but also tore down the bridges of cooperation in the Baltic region,” said Baerbock before the meeting on Thursday. Baerbock went on to say that they would talk together about how to prevent attempts at division by Russia and how to protect the living space for future generations.
Politics not only in Berlin
In June, Germany is stepping down from the chair of the Council of the Baltic Sea States after one year. Therefore, a kind of balance sheet is drawn at the meeting in Wismar. The priorities of the German Presidency were the promotion of offshore wind energy, the intensification of youth meetings and the elimination of munitions in the Baltic Sea. With Wismar as the venue, hostess Baerbock wants to show that foreign policy is not only made in Berlin and has invited some of her counterparts to a two-day meeting. The Hanseatic city lives with, on and from the Baltic Sea, according to a spokesman for the Federal Foreign Office in justifying the venue. A walk through the old town, an entry in the Golden Book of the city of Wismar and an exchange with young people are also planned.
In Wismar, salvage equipment for old ammunition is to be demonstrated
The members of the Baltic Sea Council want to become climate-neutral by 2050 at the latest. According to the committee, there is a lot of potential for this in the region, particularly due to offshore wind turbines in the Baltic Sea. Germany had set out to initiate cooperation with the national energy ministries. Germany also wanted to give new impetus to the disposal of contaminated ammunition. Up to 400,000 tons of conventional explosives and around 40,000 tons of chemical weapons are still lying on the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Salvage equipment for these contaminated sites is to be demonstrated in Wismar.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine casts shadows
But the German Presidency was also marked by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Shortly after the invasion on February 24, 2022, the Council suspended Russia. The Belarusian observer status was also suspended. In May 2022, Russia finally announced its withdrawal from the Council.
Traffic obstructions in Wismar city center possible – citizen hotline set up
The police announced that individual streets could be closed during the events. Therefore, road users would have to reckon with some short-term disruptions in the inner-city area and especially around the old wooden port. However, there should not be any restrictions on retail or gastronomy in the port area. Since Tuesday, the authorities have set up a citizen hotline on 03841 203 288 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. “We will keep the restrictions for all citizens, but especially for those who live or work in the port area, as low as possible,” the police said.
Founded in 1992 after the end of the division of Europe
The board was established in 1992. After the end of the division of Europe, the peaceful growing together of East and West should be promoted and stability in the region should be guaranteed. The CBSS currently has ten members and the European Union: Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and Sweden.