Germany hates to cut off Russia’s energy imports immediately, Finance Minister encourages patience

Germany is moving “as quickly as possible” to end its dependence on energy supply, but according to the country’s finance minister, Christian Lindner, such a move cannot be done immediately.

“We have to be patient,” Lindner said in an interview. BBC.. “We are willing to stop all energy imports from Russia. It’s only a matter of time.”

The assumption that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will continue to depend on Russia’s energy is “wrong,” because Berlin does not want “no more deals” with Russian leaders, Lindner said. .. However, he warned that a sudden suspension of energy imports from Russia could shut down German manufacturers and have a negative impact on the macro economy.

“I’m not afraid [the] Economic cost [of buying less Russian energy].. I’m afraid of the physical scenario that this would cause more than economic cost if supply had to be shut down for a complete production line, “he said. “We would like to have sanctions that can withstand months and years.”

Lindner criticized the previous administration for its reliance on Russia’s gas and oil, arguing that it was a “strategic miscalculation.” He condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for increased geopolitical and economic risks such as inflation and the debt crisis in poor countries, as well as increased food shortages.

Germany imports about 40% of gas and 25% of oil from Russia. Moscow earns about $ 1 billion daily by selling oil and gas, thereby blunting the effects of Western sanctions aimed at ending the war on the Kremlin.

Germany has stopped starting the NordStream2 gas pipeline project with Russia after the invasion.

Russia’s exports to Russia fell by 57.5% in March 2022 due to sanctions. As a result, Russia has become the 12th largest export market for Berlin outside the European Union, starting from 5th place in February.

Lindner had a similar discussion in an interview with the German newspaper Die Zeit in March. CNN report.

“The question is, at what point does Putin do more harm than ourselves,” Lindner said. “If I could follow my heart, everything would be immediately embargoed, but I doubt if this would stop the fighters in the short term.”

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, inconsistent with Lindner, was completely German on April 20. Stop importing Russian oil By the end of 2022. Following this, she added, Russia’s gas imports would end.

A significant block of Russia’s energy supply could seriously exacerbate Germany’s inflation, which reached its highest level in more than 40 years in March 2022.

The EU is trying to reduce Russia’s gas imports by 66% in 2022, aiming to completely eliminate Russia’s energy by 2027. However, German unions and employers are opposed to the EU’s plan to ban Russia’s imports of natural gas.

“A rapid gas ban will lead to loss of production, shutdowns, further hollowing out of industry, and long-term job loss in Germany,” said Reiner Hoffmann, chairman of the BDA Employment Group, and DGB Trade. Chairman Reiner Hoffmann said. Union, Joint statement April 18th.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Naveen Athrappully


Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter on business and global events in The Epoch Times.