Scholz leaves for Argentina: energy and the war in Ukraine are the central themes of the trip to South America

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) left on Saturday with the new government aircraft “Konrad Adenauer” on his first trip to South America as head of government.

The four-day journey begins in Argentina, then continues to Chile and Brazil. In terms of content, it is about, among other things, the expansion of economic relations, energy supply, climate protection and the war of aggression against Ukraine.

The first stop is Buenos Aires (arrival 7:00 p.m. local time/11:00 p.m. CET), where Scholz will first meet with President Alberto Fernandez. A dinner with representatives of the Argentine economy is then planned. On Sunday evening Scholz travels to Chile, on Monday and Tuesday Brazil is on the agenda.

Mission of the journey: New partnerships in the energy sector

The SPD politician has resolved to broaden Germany’s international relations as part of the turning point after the Russian attack on Ukraine in order to avoid new dependencies on individual countries such as Russia and its gas once had.

On his first trip to Latin America as Federal Chancellor, Scholz will be accompanied by a business delegation made up of a dozen managers and association representatives.

The goal of the trip is also new partnerships in the field of supplying raw materials and energy sources. This should make Germany’s supply of rare earths more independent of countries like China.

Economically, Latin America is interesting, among other things, because of its raw material deposits. Iron and steel, copper, lead, zinc and, above all, lithium, which is so important for the manufacture of electric cars, can be found on the continent.

Economy calls for free trade agreements

Industry President Siegfried Russwurm called the trip “an important signal at the right time”. The head of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) is hoping for a new boost for the planned free trade agreement.

Scholz should campaign for a quick agreement in Argentina and Brazil, he demanded. “We must not miss the opportunity to implement one of the most important projects on our bilateral trade agenda.”

The President of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), Peter Adrian, also called for ratification of the agreement with the Mercosur states and the agreements with Mexico and Chile. “We mustn’t fall behind in our economic commitments in Latin America,” said Adrian.

In an interview with the Grupo de Diarios América media network on the way to Argentina, Scholz emphasized that he hoped the trip would yield concrete results in the field of renewable energies.

We are looking for partnerships at eye level and full of respect

Olaf Scholz, Federal Chancellor

“The efforts of the EU Commission to reach an agreement with the Mercosur partners in a timely manner are very much supported,” said the Chancellor.

Scholz: Ukraine war is “not a purely European matter”

Scholz also wants to use the visits to explain the German position in the Ukraine war.

The SPD politician told the media association Grupo de Diarios América that the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine was “a blatant breach of international law and therefore not a purely European matter”.

Accordingly, the SPD politician is also counting on the Latin American states when condemning the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. “Anyone who disregards the central principles of the United Nations Charter is sawing the foundations of the international order,” said Scholz in an interview.

The Federal Chancellor also pointed out that Germany shares a solid foundation of democracy, the rule of law and international law with many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. “Together we stand for state sovereignty and peaceful conflict resolution worldwide.”

Brazil: Meeting with President Lula scheduled for Monday

On Monday and Tuesday, Scholz ends his trip in Brazil, the largest and most populous country on the continent. There he will meet leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was sworn in on January 1st and who prevailed in a runoff election in October against Jair Bolsonaro, also known as the “Donald Trump of the Tropics”.

In May 2022, a few months before his election, Lula da Silva criticized Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “This guy is just as responsible for the war as Putin is,” Lula told Time magazine.

“We encourage this guy – and then he thinks he’s the icing on the cake,” said the Brazilian president.

During the trip to South America, among other things, the stalled negotiations on a free trade agreement with the Mercosur countries, which also include Argentina and Brazil, are to be discussed. These two countries are also members of the G20 of major economic powers.

New Airbus as “Air Force One”: 14 hours for 12,000 kilometers

For his trip to South America, the Federal Chancellor and the business delegation are using the Airbus “Konrad Adenauer” type A350-900. It is the first of a total of three of these aircraft that has full VIP facilities with offices and a lounge area – the Bundeswehr is silent on the details, however.

The new Airbus A350 “Konrad Adenauer” is ready at BER Airport to fly Chancellor Scholz to South America.
© dpa/Kay Nietfeld

The “Adenauer” is thus considered to be the new “Air Force One” for the Federal Government and the Federal President. It had already been tested by Federal President Frank-Walter-Steinmeier on a trip to Brazil at the turn of the year.

Scholz is now flying the white-painted aircraft with black, red and gold stripes for the first time.


The “Konrad Adenauer” creates kilometers per hour.

The “Adenauer” is 67 meters long, 960 kilometers per hour, flies more than 13,000 meters high and can reach any destination in the world without a stopover. 14 hours were scheduled for the 12,000-kilometer route to Buenos Aires. (dpa, AFP, tsp.)

To home page

Source: Tagesspiegel

Share this article:

Leave a Reply

most popular