The situation with gas supply in Germany may worsen. The German government should prepare a plan of action in such a case. This was announced on Thursday, March 24, by the Federal Association of Energy and Water Supply Companies of Germany (BDEW).
“There are concrete and serious signs that the gas supply situation may worsen. It is impossible to exclude the impact on gas supplies [of the situation that has developed] after the statements of [President of the Russian Federation Vladimir] Putin that they will be paid in rubles, ”the message says.
The German authorities are working to reduce dependence on Russian gas, but are not ready to abandon imports now, BDEW added.
Earlier in the day, Andrei Klishas, head of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building, said that Russia’s decision to accept payment for energy supplies in rubles is an important step towards economic independence and a blow to the United States.
Japan’s Finance Minister Shun’ichi Suzuki said that the country’s authorities still do not understand how Russia’s decision to receive payment for gas from unfriendly countries in rubles will be put into practice. According to him, Tokyo is studying the situation.
In turn, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the conditions for paying for Russian gas in rubles will be clarified as we communicate with each buyer.
A day earlier, the head of the German industry association Zukunft Gas, Timm Koehler, said that in Germany the news about the transition to settlements in rubles was received “with great confusion.” According to him, it is not yet clear how this will affect gas trade. Meanwhile, Austria announced that it would continue to pay for gas supplies in euros in accordance with the current contract.
On March 23, Putin announced that the country would convert payments for gas supplies to unfriendly countries into rubles. He pointed out that recent events indicate the loss of reliability of Western currencies.
The instruction of the Russian president to convert gas transactions into rubles came against the backdrop of anti-Russian sanctions imposed by a number of foreign countries in response to a special operation carried out since February 24 to protect the civilian population of Donbass. As Peskov clarified then, the special operation has two goals – the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine. According to him, both of these aspects pose a threat to the Russian state and people.
The situation in Donbass escalated significantly in mid-February due to shelling by the Ukrainian military. The authorities of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics announced the evacuation of residents to the Russian Federation, and also turned to Moscow for help. On February 21, the Russian president signed a decree recognizing the independence of the DPR and LPR and promised to support the republics.