Germany has moved one step closer to rationing gas after the country triggered its second tranche of emergency powers over the ongoing crisis.
The energy crisis appears to only be going from bad to worse in Germany, with the country announcing that it was triggering the second level of its three-tier gas emergency plan, with the last and final level being available to the state allowing authorities to begin rationing supply.
It comes shortly after Moscow dramatically reduced the amount of gas it is supplying to the central European state, which has become heavily addicted to Russian energy exports in part as a result of the country’s obsession with its climate change agenda.
According to a report by Die Welt, Germany’s Economics and Climate Action Minister Robert Habeck announced the move to the second level of emergency powers on Thursday, with the country now aiming to fill its gas storage tanks before winter hits.
“We are in a gas crisis. Gas is now a scarce commodity. The prices are already high and we have to be prepared for further increases,” the publication reports Habeck as saying.
While onlookers — including former President Donald Trump — had been warning Germany that its addiction to foreign gas would eventually end in disaster for years at this point, the Green party minister remained adamant that the current situation was Russia’s fault, describing the sudden drop in supplies as an attack on his country.
“We must not delude ourselves, cutting gas supplies is an economic attack on us by [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” Politico reports Habeck as saying. “It is clearly Putin’s strategy to create insecurity, drive up prices and divide us as a society.”
The minister then proceeded to call on ordinary Germans to cut their own energy usage, saying that such action would “make a difference”.
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Although Russia has maintained that the reduction in its gas supply to Germany is not at all about politics but instead the result of technical issues to do with the pipeline between the two nations, many in Europe and beyond have seen Moscow’s decision to more than half the amount of Russian gas flowing into the state as the latest slight in a now extended political feud over the war in Ukraine.
European powers, including the EU as a whole, have been adamant that they are putting pressure on the Russian economy in retaliation for the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, emphasising that the sanctions imposed by the bloc have indeed been effective.
However, others have now repeatedly challenged this point, with one Russian energy mogul and vehement critic of Vladimir Putin saying that the union is now hurting itself more than its political foe with the measures.
“My point of view was and remains the same — what on earth are you doing?” Mikhail Khodorkovsky is reported as asking, with the energy sector veteran claiming that the “energy sanctions are hurting Europe, not Russia”.
“How much has the West lost in revenue by introducing all kinds of energy sanctions? $100 billion, $200 billion?” he reportedly continued. “Had Ukraine got at least $50 billion worth of weapons instead of $10 billion, the situation would be completely different now — without any energy sanctions being introduced.”
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