“Berlin triggered the second stage of its national gas emergency plan.”
Having mocked and rejected President Donald Trump’s warning about the country’s dependence on Russian energy, the German government now fears that Russia may soon cut off their gas supply.
As war rages in Ukraine, Russia has drastically reduced its energy supply to Germany and other western European countries, forcing Berlin to declared emergency measures to save and ration existing gas supplies.
In the wake of these measures, Germany fears widespread disruption of its economy and industrial production. “Germany warned that Russia’s moves to slash Europe’s natural gas supplies risked sparking a collapse in energy markets, drawing a parallel to the role of Lehman Brothers in triggering the financial crisis,” Bloomberg reported last week.
Germany requires natural gas to meet its vast energy needs ranging from running its industry to heating homes. Before the Ukraine war started, Russian “provided a third of Germany’s oil, around half its coal imports and more than half its gas,” British weekly The Economist noted.
The German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported the growing angst in Berlin over dropping Russian energy supply:
Russia could be planning to use a regular maintenance break on the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline as an opportunity to cut the gas supply to Germany completely, making it vital to save as much gas as possible, a German official has told newspapers.
The question was whether the planned 11-day maintenance period, due to start July 11, will “become a longer [period] of political maintenance,” Klaus Müller, the head of the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzwerkagentur), told Saturday newspapers from the Funke Media Group.
He said that if the gas supply from Russia “is reduced longer for political reasons, we have to talk more seriously about ways to cut consumption.” Russia has already cut or reduced its gas supply to several European countries amid tensions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. (…)
In the northern city of Hamburg, the state environment minister, Jens Kerstan, announced that the hot-water supply for private households could be reduced.
“If there were to be an acute gas shortage, hot water could be made available in an emergency only at certain times of day,” he told the paper Welt am Sonntag.
He said the maximum room temperature allowed by the district heating grid could also be lowered.
As Russian gas supply dwindles, Berlin has been forced to roll out a “gas emergency plan.” Late last month, “Berlin triggered the second stage of its national gas emergency plan, nine days after Russia reduced gas supply through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline under the Baltic Sea by 60 per cent,” the London-based Financial Times reported June 23.
The country has relied so heavily on Russian gas pipelines that it didn’t build a single LNG terminal, making it impossible to receive gas via carrier vessels from the U.S. and other overseas suppliers.
Trump’s Warning Fell on Deaf Ears
The current energy crisis is of Germany’s own making. German Chancellor Angela Merkel ignored U.S. President Donald Trump’s warning in this regard.
The U.S. and German media regularly mocked the former president for his prescient warning. Even members of Chancellor Merkel’s government ridiculed him for these earnest warnings.
At the UN general assembly in September 2018, when President Trump cautioned Germany against becoming ‘totally dependent’ on Russian energy, the German delegation publicly laughed him off. “German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas could be seen smirking alongside his colleagues,” The Washington Post gleefully reported.
As Trump’s predictions come true, the German political elites and the media aren’t laughing anymore. And with all German eggs in Putin’s basket, Berlin fears a “gas crisis” that could cripple the nation’s industry and disrupt everyday life.DONATE
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