Germany Plans To Be Successfully Independent From Russian Energy, Oil

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Astora natural gas depot in Rehden, Germany
The Astora natural gas depot, which is the largest natural gas storage in Western Europe, is pictured in Rehden, Germany, March 16, 2022.

The German government confirmed on Sunday that it expects to be fully independent of Russian energy sources by late summer.

Germany currently has billions tied to energy imports with Russia but has been making great progress towards reducing its energy use with them to stop directly funding the invasion of Ukraine.

“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,” Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck said in a statement Sunday.

“But they are necessary if we no longer want to be blackmailed by Russia,” Habeck said.

Germany relied on Russia for more than half of its natural gas imports before the invasion. It was buying around 25% of its oil and 40% of its gas from Russia.

Germany, which has the largest economy in Europe, said that it has reduced its Russian energy imports to 12% for oil, 8% for coal and 35% for natural gas, Habeck noted. 

Russia has been using “energy blackmail” by halting gas supplies to some countries after those countries did not agree to its conditions, according to European officials.

This has caused natural gas from Russia to become highly overpriced and inaccessible, which has pressured countries to find ways to become independent.

In February, Germany said that it planned to build two LNG terminals to move towards independence. Along with plans to create more natural gas storage facilities to increase the amount of natural gas it can cultivate and store.

The German government promised at the time that it would move quickly to ensure that ties can be properly cut with Russia.

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