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14 Aug, 2023 15:14

‘Strong dependence’ on Russia affecting gas prices – Germany  

Berlin was more reliant on energy supplies from Moscow than other EU countries, according to the Economy Ministry 
‘Strong dependence’ on Russia affecting gas prices – Germany  

Germany’s previous dependence on Russian natural gas is still affecting the country and driving energy prices up, the Economy Ministry in Berlin warned on Monday.     

Germany, which relied on Russia for 40% of its gas demand prior to 2022, was among the hardest hit by the reduction in Russian energy supplies last year. Deliveries were either significantly curtailed or entirely halted after the EU imposed sanctions on Moscow in response to the conflict in Ukraine.     

“Strong dependence on Russia in terms of gas supplies continues to have an effect. This is exactly what we see in regard to the level of energy prices, which remains high,” TASS quoted a ministry representative as saying.     

Other EU countries have not experienced similar difficulties as they were less reliant on Russian energy, the official added.     

German underground storage facilities are currently almost 90% full, according to the Economy Ministry. At the same time, authorities in the EU’s largest economy have warned that a cold winter could still pose a threat to German energy security. They have urged “precautionary measures” such as pumping more gas into stockpiles and building additional LNG terminals to prevent a crisis during the upcoming heating season.     

Last week, Germany’s INES group of gas storage operators predicted that the country will face gas shortages in the coming years unless it adds more fuel infrastructure.     

“The danger of gas shortages during cold temperatures remains and will continue to accompany us until winter of 2026/2027 unless further infrastructure measures are taken,” INES head Sebastian Bleschke told Bloomberg.   

German MP and right-wing AfD party leader Anton Baron claimed last week that Russian gas had been a “blessing” for the German economy, insisting that Berlin should start importing it again despite Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

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