Germany preparing plan to end Russian gas imports: Sources

Berlin: Officials in Germany are reportedly working on an emergency package that could help them remain afloat amidst the Russia-Ukraine crisis according to Reuters.

According to reports, the Ministry of Economy is working on preparations with regard to the supply of gas critical for the production of steel, plastics, and cars in what is considered Europe’s biggest economy. Germany’s imports which rely heavily on Russian gas are currently experiencing uncertainty as the international community continues to place sanctions on the former head of the Soviet Union for its invasion of Ukraine. 

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According to Reuters reports, approximately fifty-five percent of Germany’s imports were in fact Russian gas imported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs last year which has recently come under a “heightened state of alert” since February of 2022, when the Russia-Ukraine war started. Germany is under pressure to terminate the relationship as experts have argued its imports are aiding Russia in its illegal invasion. Although Germany has expressed a desire to shift its use of Russian supplies, it has faced scrutiny despite fears that an abrupt halt may lead to an escalation. 

Additionally, German officials are concerned that Russia may completely cut off their supply of gas, as Germany has supported sanctions placed on Russia, due to which the ministry is actively working on preparations to remain afloat in the likelihood that the supply is halted entirely. 

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According to Reuters, officials from the government have stated they are making “intense efforts” to reduce the use of Russian energy. It is pertinent to note that officials have hinted at possibly nationalizing the oil refineries across the state. In addition, Germany could possibly stake claims in other companies, a move not entirely new to the German govt which made a similar move in 2018. According to reports at the time, Germany’s state bank KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau) bought approximately twenty percent of the energy network operator so that it would not have to accept China’s State Grid. 

So far, the government has not managed to finalize its emergency package, which is still under considerable consideration. In the meanwhile, German authorities are also working on measures to ration the gas supply for emergency situations. 

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On the other hand, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the Russian armed forces on Monday during which he stated that the troops are fighting for Russia, referring to the invasion as a “special military operation”.

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