Talking to CNN’s Julia Chatterley on Monday, finance minister Christian Lindner explained Germany would agree any new sanctions on Russia with its companions in the European Union.
“Germany stands prepared for new sanctions, which include an oil embargo,” he reported.
Lindner explained he did not want to speculate on regardless of whether some EU member states, this kind of as Hungary, would have to be supplied exemptions or carve outs from an oil embargo.
“I can assure you that Germany is all set to decrease oil imports, we know others are looking at this problem meticulously,” he added.
Previous yr, Russia accounted for about 27% of EU oil imports. It also supplied about 40% of Europe’s organic fuel. EU leaders have now promised to slash Russian gas imports by 66% this year, and to split the bloc’s dependency totally by 2027.
“We have prepared ourselves to be fewer dependent on Russian vitality imports,” Lindner reported. “We can minimize the imports, starting with coal, then oil. It will take a lot more time to be unbiased from Russian all-natural fuel imports, but we will carry on so in the stop we will be fully unbiased from Russia.”
Moscow elevated the stakes in a tense electrical power standoff with Europe very last week by cutting off provides of all-natural fuel to Poland and Bulgaria. State gas huge Gazprom reported neither state had agreed to President Vladimir Putin’s demand from customers that prospects in “unfriendly” nations ought to open up two accounts at Gazprombank — a single in euros and the 2nd in rubles, from which payments for the gas would be built.
The broad vast majority of Gazprom’s contracts with its European clients stipulate payment in euros or dollars. The Kremlin’s ultimatum concerning ruble payments is widely found as a shift to bolster its war chest and raise the Russian currency.
Is Germany future?
German gasoline distributor Uniper mentioned previous week it would continue on to shell out for its Russian provides in euros but additional that it thought a “payment conversion compliant with sanctions law” was possible. It explained it was analyzing the subject diligently in near coordination with the German authorities.
Lindner mentioned he expected Germany’s utilities to honor the conditions of their contracts, which involve payment in euros or dollars.
“Germany can’t be blackmailed, we know there is a dependency on organic fuel from Russia, it is a reality. We want time to decrease this dependency,” he told CNN. “This is the situation of the contracts and we do not adjust for the reason that Putin requires rubles for his war chest.”
Germany has diminished its consumption of Russian gas to 35% of imports from 55% right before the war in Ukraine, but says it requires to hold purchasing from Moscow at the very least until eventually next yr to stay away from a deep economic downturn.
Uniper reported that it can’t cope with out Russian fuel in the quick phrase.
“This would have spectacular penalties for our economy,” it stated in its statement.