Berlin says it can’t immediately pull the plug on Russian oil and gas without causing mass poverty in the country
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck has said that cutting off energy supplies from Russia right now will tank the economy and make ordinary people’s lives miserable.
Russian fossil fuels remain the main source of our dependence “comparatively high,”Habeck spoke to ARD Sunday.
“If we flip the switch immediately, there will be supply shortages, even supply stops, mass unemployment, poverty,”Habeck added that it would be “people who will no longer be able to heat their homes, people who will run out of petrol.”
“With coal, oil, and even gas, we are step by step in the process of making ourselves independent,”Minister noted. “But we can’t do it in an instant. That’s bitter, and it’s not a nice thing morally to confess to, but we can’t do it yet.”Habeck also stated that Germany continues to be more independent of Russian energy.
As a result of Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, Europe is under increasing pressure to place more sanctions against Russia. Although the European Commission announced last week it would eliminate its dependence on Russian oil, coal, and gas by 2030, this was not an exact ban, like in the US or UK. EU officials stated that members must confront rising energy prices, and replenish natural gas reserves by winter.
The EU has previously established severe restrictions against Russian banking and commerce. Moscow responded to the majority of European countries that closed their airspace for Russia-linked flight.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said last week that the country’s energy sector came prepared for sanctions, while the government was working on ways to mitigate the impact.
Moscow attacked the neighboring state in late February, following a seven-year standoff over Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. French and German-brokered protocols were intended to regulate the state of regions in the Ukrainian government.
Russia demanded Ukraine declare itself neutral and refuse to join NATO.
Kiev denies that Russia launched an offensive against it and claims they did not intend to seize the two republics.
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