Amid the energy security crisis and the looming probability of Nord Stream 1 pipeline being cutoff, Germany seems to be projecting strength. The European energy consumer has made a commitment to stop all Russian coal and oil imports within the year.
Jörg Kukies, state secretary for financial market policy and European policy at the German Federal Ministry of Finance, announced at the Sydney Energy Forum that the country plans to get off dependency on Russian coal by August 1 and Russian oil by the end of the year.
“Anyone who knows the history of the Druzhba pipeline, which was already a tool of the Soviet empire over eastern Europe, ridding yourself of that dependence is not a trivial matter, but it is one that we will achieve in a few months,” Kukies said.
The pronouncements, at least for the Russian oil dependency, are a repeat of German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s statement back in April when she also claimed the country will be halting oil imports from Moscow.
“I therefore say here clearly and unequivocally yes, Germany is also completely phasing out Russian energy imports,” said Baerbock. “We will halve oil by the summer and will be at 0 by the end of the year, and then gas will follow, in a joint European roadmap, because our joint exit, the complete exit of the European Union, is our common strength.”
In 2020, Germany was the biggest European client for Russian coal, importing around 11.8 million tonnes or roughly 67% of its total coal imports.
Meanwhile, as of January 2022, the country imported about 2.8 million tonnes of crude oil from Russia, accounting for about 40% of its total oil imports.
Earlier in June, Berlin was said to be planning to restart its coal-fired power plants to conserve its natural gas supplies.
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