Germany Says It Can Wean Itself Off Russian Oil by Summer

BERLIN — Germany says it’s making progress on weaning itself off Russian fossil fuels and expects to be fully independent of Russian crude oil imports by late summer.

Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck said Sunday that Europe’s largest economy has reduced the share of Russian energy imports to 12% for oil, 8% for coal and 35% for natural gas. Germany has been under strong pressure from Ukraine and other nations in Europe to cut energy imports from Russia that are worth billions of euros, which help fill Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war chest.

“All these steps that we are taking require an enormous joint effort from all actors and they also mean costs that are felt by both the economy and consumers,” Habeck said in a statement. “But they are necessary if we no longer want to be blackmailed by Russia.”

Continue reading: Germany Can’t Rely on Russian Energy. What’s next?

This announcement is made as the European Union contemplates an embargo against Russian oil. It follows a ban on Russian coal imports that was implemented in August. Russia is paid $850 million per day by the bloc for natural gas and oil, and Germany is its largest importer of Russian energy.

Germany has managed to shift to oil and coal imports from other countries in a relatively short time, meaning that “the end of dependence on Russian crude oil imports by late summer is realistic,” Habeck’s ministry said.

Removing Germany from Russian natural gases is an even more challenging task.

Continue reading: Russia is Still Winning in the Energy War

Germany received more than half of its natural-gas imports from Russia prior to the invasion by Russia on February 24, 24. The ministry stated that this share has fallen to 35% partly because of increased imports from Norway and Holland.

Germany is planning to accelerate the construction of LNG terminals in order to reduce Russian imports. Germany plans to operate several floating LNG terminals by the end of this year, according to Energy and Climate Ministry. That’s an ambitious timeline that the ministry acknowledged “requires an enormous commitment from everyone involved.”

Germany is resisting EU calls to boycott Russian natural gas. The EU also watched in concern last week when Moscow stopped gas supply to Poland and Bulgaria immediately after rejecting Russian demand to pay gas in rubles. European officials called those moves by Russia “energy blackmail.”

Germany’s central bank has said a total cutoff of Russian gas could mean 5 percentage points of lost economic output and higher inflation.

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