German Chancellor Scholz Holds Meeting with Presidents of Central Asian Countries in Berlin
On September 29, German Chancellor Scholz convened a meeting with the presidents of five Central Asian countries in Berlin to discuss various topics, such as bilateral relations, economic issues, and energy cooperation.
The meeting, held at the Chancellery, was a historic event as it marked the first time the heads of the five Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan – had met with the leader of an EU member state in this joint format.
Prior to the meeting, Chancellor Scholz individually met with Kazakh President Tokayev to discuss bilateral relations, economic collaboration, and energy cooperation. Chancellor Scholz expressed Germany’s hope that Kazakhstan could expand energy supplies to Germany.
This meeting between Germany and the Central Asian countries is seen as part of the EU’s plan to strengthen ties with Central Asia and reduce Russia’s influence in the region. Germany, in particular, aims to diversify its energy sources and reduce its dependence on Russia by exploring alternatives in the Middle East, Norway, and Central Asia’s oil and gas resources.
German Foreign Minister Berberk’s visit to Central Asia last year already demonstrated Germany’s interest in the region’s energy and infrastructure sectors. A German business delegation focused on energy and infrastructure accompanied the minister during the visit.
To enhance its relationship with Central Asian countries, Germany plans to invest in advanced manufacturing and promote cooperation in energy trade, oil and gas exploration, and new energy industries. However, these goals may face challenges due to geopolitical changes, relations between Central Asian countries and Russia, and the interests of other European countries like the United States and NATO.
The meeting between Chancellor Scholz and the Central Asian presidents signifies Germany’s commitment to further developing ties with Central Asia and exploring new opportunities for economic cooperation and energy diversification. As Germany continues its efforts to reduce dependence on Russia, the potential for collaboration with Central Asian countries in the energy sector is becoming increasingly significant.