German metallurgists agreed to reinstate dialogue with Russia and criticized US import taxes
Dr. Michael Muller, president of the board of Stahl-Holding-Saar company, opened the forum. He noted that all metallurgy establishments used to organize production around raw materials mined at local deposits. Nowadays, however, those sites are depleted and the whole industry branch entirely depends on importing the resources.
The topic of resource supply is very important to us. We used to provide raw materials ourselves but it is all in the past now. Today we are 100% dependent on import of ore, pellets and coal. Importing these materials is vital. The town of Neunkirchen still has two rolling mills while steel works remain in Völklingen and Dillingen. There would be no Saarland without them. It is our history. This year we are celebrating 333 years since the foundation of the metallurgy company in Dillingen. The factory in Neunkirchen is even older, 425 yearsDr. Michael Müller
Vice Prime Minister, Minister of the Economy, Labour, Energy and Transport of Saarland, Anke Rehlinger in turn noted that “industrial politics can only be successful when raw material politics are in place”. She called to focus on the necessity to “scale it (raw material politics) up, since the stability of supply of raw materials is paramount for industrial development in Germany”.
I want to revisit the topic of raw material dialogue - it is very important to us. We should be honest with each other. If you look at what kind of communication between Germany and Russia has recently existed, it will be just to say that was not enough. Now we step into a period when more dialogue is initiated. Despite the differences in German and Russian political views, it is and will be important for us to keep collaborating with the Russian Federation. We are strategic partners and we need to be in constant discussion as well as maintaining good relationship between our countriesAnke Rehlinger
The Vice Prime Minister also addressed the US imposing import taxes on steel and aluminum for European companies calling them “a major challenge”. She urged the metallurgy businesses representatives not to give up, despite “rising number of challenges”.
“Rerouting the trade flows further complicating current situation is inevitable since the American markets would be closed. It is fair to say that it is not getting any easier, but the good thing is we can continue working with our partners, our Russian partners as well, to find proper solutions. I think together we should foster the trade being open and fair”, Ms. Rehlinger summed up.
Сounsul General of the Russian Federation in Bonne, Vladimir Sedykh, emphasized the importance of building the gas pipeline “Nord Stream - 2” to the members of the conference. He noted that this line will improve reliability of gas supply to consumers in Germany and Europe, while the realization of this project will be beneficial for both Russian and German sides.
An expert in environment protection and ex-Vice Secretary General of the UN, Professor Dr. Klaus Töpfer called such platforms like one here at Völklingen a foundation for step-by-step development of mutually advantageous partnerships. He reminded the audience that he has been a member of the first Germany-Russia raw material forum, established by Saint-Petersburg Mining University, Freiberg University of Mining and Technology and VNG-Verbundnetz Gas AG company 12 years ago.
Our raw material forum aims at looking at the future. We have several workgroups focused on science and its integration into fuel and energy complex. Energy commodities truly unite us. Both our countries face common goals which a priori make us partners. If we continue to artificially “break” our partnership navigating by political “waves”, then the both sides will arrive at nothing but problems. We do not have a better partner that Russia today. It is important to take this into accountProf. Dr. Klaus Töpfer
Saint-Petersburg Mining University delegation lead by first vice-rector Natalia Pashkevich participates at the “German-Russian Raw Materials Dialogue on River Saar” as well. The vice-rector called the audience’s attention to this forum being “a new step in strengthening mutually beneficial partnership”. Furthermore, she reminded the participants of long-time collaboration between the Mining University and Saar’s metallurgists.
Graduate and PhD students of the Mining University have been winning the Saarland steel industry grant for several years in a row now. It means that even during the years of Germany - Russia relations being at all-time low, we managed to maintain partnership and understanding with our German friendsNatalia Pashkevich
It is worth reminding that recently the Saint-Petersburg Mining University delegates participated in a meeting of the German-Russian Raw Material Forum Organizing Committee, which was held in Saarland (Germany). The topics discussed included the agenda of XI conference taking place in Potsdam on 7th and 8th of November, 2018.