As Russia vows to make Lithuania’s population pay for Kaliningrad blockade that threatens to drag NATO into war
- ‘Reduction of gas deliveries via Nord Stream 1 pipeline is an attack on us,’ Germany’s economy minister said
- Robert Habeck accused Russian energy giant Gazprom and Putin of seeking to ‘create chaos’ on the continent
- Germany, Austria and the Netherlands have fired up mothballed coal plants to reduce their gas consumption
- It comes as Russia vowed to retaliate after Lithuania blocked goods EU goods from reaching Kaliningrad
- A Russian Lt-General said the West is playing with fire by preventing goods from reaching the Russian exclave
David Averre, Rachael Bunyan and Will Stewart – Mail Online June 22, 2022
Germany’s economy minister has accused Russian energy giant Gazprom of mounting an ‘attack’ on his nation after it slashed its supply of gas to Europe.
‘The reduction of gas deliveries via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline is an attack on us, an economic attack on us,’ Robert Habeck said in a speech to a German industry conference earlier today.
Gazprom said last week it would reduce supplies of the fuel to Germany via the pipeline due to delayed repairs, but the German government has called the decision ‘political’ amid the widespread European support for Ukraine following Putin‘s invasion.
As a result of the cut, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands decided to reactivate mothballed coal power plants to reduce their gas consumption.
Germany has also mandated the filling of gas reserves to 90 per cent ahead of the European winter, to hedge against a further reduction in supply.
‘When we go into the winter with half full gas stores and the taps are turned off then we are talking about a difficult economic crisis in Germany,’ Habeck said.
Currently, Germany’s gas storage capacity is just under 60 percent full.
‘We have seen this pattern multiple times now,’ Habeck said at the conference.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought to ‘create chaos’ in European gas markets by cutting off supply to Poland and Bulgaria among other European countries, the minister said.
Habeck called for the ‘diversification’ of suppliers of raw materials and energy to achieve ‘a bit of independence from the malign intentions of the world’s dictators’.
Germany had a ‘system rivalry’ with Russia and China, the minister said.
China was a ‘big market’, Habeck said, but urged industry to use trade to promote ‘our values’.
Accusations of a fuel attack on Europe come as Russia vowed to retaliate against Lithuania with measures that ‘will have a serious negative impact on the Lithuanian population’ after the country blocked EU-sanctioned goods from reaching the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.