Home Commodities Falling Russian supplies see gas now, officially, a scarce commodity in Germany

Falling Russian supplies see gas now, officially, a scarce commodity in Germany

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Robert Habeck is pictured in front of a blue wall with white lettering, his hands gesturing while he is speaking.

Germany has triggered the “alarm stage” of its emergency gas plan in response to falling Russian supplies but stopped short of allowing utilities to pass on soaring energy costs to customers in Europe’s largest economy.

The measure is the latest escalation in a stand-off between Europe and Moscow after the February 24 Russian invasion of Ukraine that has exposed the bloc’s dependence on Russian gas supplies and sparked a frantic search for alternative energy sources.

Germany’s step is a largely symbolic signal to companies and households but it marks a major shift for the country, which cultivated strong energy ties with Moscow stretching back to the Cold War.

Lower gas flows sparked warnings this week that Germany could fall into recession if Russian supplies halted all together.

A survey on Thursday showed the economy losing momentum in the second quarter.

“We must not fool ourselves: The cut in gas supplies is an economic attack on us by [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” Economy Minister Robert Habeck said in a statement.

Gas rationing would hopefully be avoided but cannot be ruled out, Mr Habeck said.

“From now on, gas is a scarce commodity in Germany … We are, therefore, now obliged to reduce gas consumption, now already in summer.”

Russia has denied the supply cuts were deliberate, with state supplier Gazprom blaming a delay in the return of serviced equipment caused by Western sanctions.

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