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Germany raises ‘alarm level’, next step could see gas rationing

Germany triggers ‘alarm level’, the second of three stages of the contingency plan, bringing the country closer to the final stage which could see gas rationing in Europe’s biggest economy, as AFP reports .

Germany moved closer to natural gas rationing on Thursday by raising the alert level as part of a contingency plan after Russia cut supplies to the country. “Gas is now a rare commodity in Germany,” Economy Minister Robert Habeck told a press conference.

Russia was using the gas “as a weapon” against Germany in retaliation for Western support for Ukraine after the invasion of Moscow, Habeck said, with the aim of “destroying” European unity.

But the Kremlin dismissed Germany’s suggestion that there were political motives behind the supply limits as “strange”.

Germany, like a number of other European countries, relies heavily on Russian energy imports to meet its needs. Russian energy giant Gazprom cut supplies to Germany through the Nord Stream gas pipeline by 60% last week, blaming the new limits on repair delays.

Germany rejected the technical justification provided by Gazprom, instead calling the decision a “political decision”.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday there was “no double meaning” in the procurement decision. “Our German partners are well aware of the technological maintenance cycles of a pipeline. It’s strange to call it politics,” he said.

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The German government expects supply to stop between July 11 and July 25 for the annual maintenance of the Nord Stream gas pipeline.

If deliveries do not resume after the service period, Germany could face a gas shortage as early as “mid-December”.

Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, Germany has managed to reduce the share of its natural gas supplied by Russia from 55% to around 35%.

(with agency contributions)

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Post expires at 1:36pm on Sunday July 3rd, 2022