Speaking to CNN’s Julia Chatterley on Monday, finance minister Christian Lindner mentioned Germany would agree any new sanctions on Russia with its partners in the European Union.
“Germany stands all set for new sanctions, which includes an oil embargo,” he stated.
Lindner reported he did not want to speculate on whether or not some EU member states, this kind of as Hungary, would have to be provided exemptions or carve outs from an oil embargo.
“I can guarantee you that Germany is all set to cut down oil imports, we know other individuals are thinking about this issue meticulously,” he extra.
Final 12 months, Russia accounted for about 27% of EU oil imports. It also provided about 40% of Europe’s natural gasoline. EU leaders have previously promised to slash Russian gasoline imports by 66% this calendar year, and to split the bloc’s dependency entirely by 2027.
“We have prepared ourselves to be much less dependent on Russian power imports,” Lindner reported. “We can lower the imports, starting off with coal, then oil. It will acquire a lot more time to be independent from Russian natural fuel imports, but we will go on so in the conclusion we will be totally independent from Russia.”
Moscow elevated the stakes in a tense power standoff with Europe past 7 days by chopping off provides of natural fuel to Poland and Bulgaria. State gas giant Gazprom reported neither region had agreed to President Vladimir Putin’s demand that buyers in “unfriendly” international locations need to open two accounts at Gazprombank — a single in euros and the second in rubles, from which payments for the gasoline would be produced.
The large the greater part of Gazprom’s contracts with its European shoppers stipulate payment in euros or pounds. The Kremlin’s ultimatum relating to ruble payments is commonly seen as a go to bolster its war upper body and improve the Russian currency.
Is Germany next?
German fuel distributor Uniper mentioned very last 7 days it would keep on to pay back for its Russian materials in euros but included that it believed a “payment conversion compliant with sanctions law” was feasible. It claimed it was examining the issue cautiously in close coordination with the German government.
Lindner reported he predicted Germany’s utilities to honor the conditions of their contracts, which demand payment in euros or dollars.
“Germany are not able to be blackmailed, we know there is a dependency on normal fuel from Russia, it is a reality. We will need time to lessen this dependency,” he instructed CNN. “This is the predicament of the contracts and we do not change because Putin demands rubles for his war chest.”
Germany has reduced its consumption of Russian gas to 35% of imports from 55% ahead of the war in Ukraine, but says it requirements to continue to keep acquiring from Moscow at the very least until finally next year to steer clear of a deep recession.
Uniper stated that it are unable to cope without Russian fuel in the shorter phrase.
“This would have dramatic consequences for our overall economy,” it reported in its statement.