Germany claims to be making headway in weaning itself off Russian fossil fuels, estimating that it will be completely independent on Russian crude oil imports by late summer.
According to Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck, Europe’s largest economy has cut its reliance on Russian energy imports to 12% for oil, 8% for coal, and 35% for natural gas. Ukraine and other European countries have put pressure on Germany to reduce billions of euros in energy imports from Russia, which contribute to fund Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war chest.
“All of these initiatives that we are taking will necessitate a massive collaborative effort from all parties, as well as expenses that will be felt by both the economy and consumers,” Habeck said in a statement. “However, they are required if we are not to be blackmailed by Russia.”
The declaration comes as the European Union weighs a Russian oil embargo in the wake of a decision to prohibit Russian coal imports beginning in August. The EU pays Russia $850 million a day in oil and natural gas, and Germany is one of Russia’s largest energy importers.
Germany has been able to transition to oil and coal imports from other nations in a reasonably short period of time, indicating that “the end of Russian crude oil import dependency by late summer is conceivable,” according to Habeck’s ministry.
Weaning the Germans off Russian natural gas is a considerably more difficult task.
Germany imported more than half of its natural gas from Russia before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. According to the government, this percentage has dropped to 35% as a result of increasing purchase from Norway and the Netherlands.
Germany intends to speed up the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in order to cut Russian imports even more. Germany’s Energy and Climate Ministry stated that numerous floating LNG facilities will be operational this year or next. That’s a lofty goal that “needs an immense commitment from everyone engaged,” according to the ministry.
Germany has rebuffed proposals for an EU-wide gas boycott against Russia. It also watched with concern last week as Moscow abruptly cut off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria after they refused to pay in rubles for gas. Russia’s actions have been dubbed “energy blackmail” by European authorities.
According to Germany’s central bank, a complete shutdown of Russian gas may result in a loss of 5% of GDP and greater inflation.