German politician warns Russian gas boycott could lead to mass poverty

The German Vice Chancellor has warned that boycotting Russian gas and oil could lead to serious problems for the German people. However, the German government still plans to phase out Russian power as it turns to alternative fuel sources.

Vice-Chancellor warns against immediate boycott of Russian fuel

German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, who is also Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate, warned that any immediate boycott of Russian gas and oil could lead to a number of serious problems for Germany. “If we flip a switch immediately, there will be supply shortages, even supply stoppages in Germany,” Habeck told reporters last Sunday. He warned that Germany could face “mass unemployment, poverty, people who cannot heat their homes, people who run out of gas”.

Habeck stressed that the federal government was working to get Germany to phase out Russian fuel. He said that while an immediate, short-term ban on Russian gas could cause major problems, Germany was looking to be in a position where it could ditch Russian coal by summer and Russian oil by summer. here the end of the year. “With coal, oil and even gas, we are step by step becoming independent,” said the former co-leader of the Greens. “But we can’t do it in an instant. It’s bitter, and morally it’s not a good thing to confess, but we can’t do it yet.

Germany is heavily dependent on Russia for energy. In fact, 55% of the natural gas used in Germany comes from Russia, as does 52% of the coal used in Germany and 34% of mineral oil. This costs Germany hundreds of millions of euros every day.

Olaf Scholz denounces a possible ban

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz imposed sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and also broke German foreign policy protocol by allowing the shipment of lethal weapons to Ukraine, as well as suspending the process of approval of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and supporting Russia cut off from the Swift payment system. However, the German Chancellor said Germany could not follow the United States in immediately banning Russian oil. Currently, there is no other way to secure Europe’s energy supply for heat generation, for mobility, for power supply and for industry,” Scholz said the week. last.

Despite this, a number of prominent German scientists, journalists and activists recently wrote an open letter to the German government, imploring it to ban Russian energy imports. Former Chancellor Angela Merkel also weighed in on the debate, suggesting that Germany close the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, while allowing imports from elsewhere. However, the German government needs time to replenish its gas reserves, which were undersupplied last year.

Short-term alternatives to Russian energy aren’t exactly plentiful. The German government is set to facilitate the licensing of new wind and solar farms, but construction is taking time. Just like the construction of new LNG terminals, which make it easier to transport gas from other countries but which also require around 5 years to build.

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