Germany on the eve of the ban on Russian oil and gas: what to replace

Germany is taking “steps” to ban the supply of Russian oil and gas, said German Economy Minister Robert Habek. According to him, Germany is making efforts to reduce its dependence on Russian oil. The Germans have not yet succeeded in refusing gas from Russia, which is why Berlin has come under criticism from Ukraine and Poland.

“We are working every day to create the preconditions and steps for the embargo, and this is also, in the opinion of the federal government, as well as, in my opinion, the right way.” said the head of the German Ministry of Economy, answering the question whether his country will support the ban on Russian fossil fuels.

Robert Habek claims that the European Union has the opportunity to impose additional sanctions against Russia after the EU issued a statement stating that additional measures are being prepared as a matter of urgency.

But, according to Die Welt, Habek stressed that Germany does not plan to immediately suspend energy supplies from Russia, although it has made good progress over the past four weeks. “We are pursuing a strategy to make ourselves independent of Russian gas, coal and oil, but not immediately,” the green politician told ZDF on Sunday night. The Minister reiterated that by the end of the summer Germany will get rid of supplies of Russian coal, and by the end of the year – from Russian oil.

The EU has come under pressure to ban Russian oil and gas imports, but Germany has so far resisted, citing possible economic damage. But now, with reports of casualties among the population in Bucha, Berlin’s position may change.

Russian gas accounts for about 40% of natural gas imports to the EU, and oil – about 25%, reminds Sky News.

Despite the sharp statements of German politicians, the German leadership is in no hurry to give up Russian energy. On the one hand, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht states that the issue of energy supply in the light of recent events should be discussed with further consequences. On the other hand, Lars Klingbeil, co-chairman of Germany’s ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD), said he considered the “immediate gas embargo wrong for many reasons”. The Prime Minister of Bavaria, the head of the Christian Social Union (CSU) Marcus Söder shared this position and pointed out that Russia is already looking for other customers, such as India

“We turn on the gas tap a little more every day,” Klingbeil said, noting that it was not easy to cut off supplies immediately. “We need to talk about the consequences this will have for us in Germany.”

Minister of Development Svenja Schulze (also from the SPD) is arguing in much the same direction, saying that sanctions should “harm Russia first and foremost, not us.” Therefore, there are proposals to influence Russia through such important sectors as the chemical industry and the steel industry, writes Die Welt.

According to the publication, according to the Federal Ministry of Economy, Russian oil imports to Germany are likely to halve by the summer. By the end of summer and autumn, Germany hopes to do without Russian coal. The situation with gas is more complicated, admits Die Welt. According to the Ministry of Economy, the share of Russian gas supplies has already fallen from 55 to 40 percent. Achieving independence (though not 100%) from Russian gas is projected by Germany by 2024, but it also depends on the pace of renewable energy in Germany and the reduction in consumption.

With regard to alternative Russian gas supplies, the German federal government is working to commission several floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in Germany in 2022 and 2023. Energy companies RWE and Uniper have received an option on behalf of the federal government to build three LNG floating terminals.

The Prime Minister of Lower Saxony, Stefan Weil, wants to replace up to 40 percent of Russia’s natural gas supplies to Germany with imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in Wilhelmshaven. The infrastructure needed for this will be expanded very quickly, he told Die Welt. “This alone will be able to replace about 20% of natural gas supplies from Russia by the first quarter of next year and about 40% by summer,” he said.

Meanwhile, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has accused Berlin of preventing the European Union from imposing tougher sanctions on Russia: “Germany is a major obstacle to sanctions.” At the same time, the Polish prime minister attacked French President Emmanuel Macron for his attempts to negotiate with Moscow.

The Ukrainian ambassador in Berlin also sharply criticized Germany’s unwillingness to impose an immediate embargo on Russian gas, oil and coal.

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