Germany to ditch Russian energy imports, albeit at high cost
For Germany, the core of the current energy policy is phasing out its dependence on Russian oil and gas. At the recent EU summit in Brussels, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reported on the state of affairs in cutting ties with Russian energy suppliers.
The German state leader pointed out that Berlin is making every effort to reduce the country’s reliance on Russian petroleum products, albeit with a remark. As Germany’s economy is greatly exposed to Russian energy imports, Berlin has to solve serious practical problems. This particular phrase was broadly cited in the Russian federal media. The Chancellor’s wording about serious problems was taken as an excuse to announce that Germany confessed its weakness. Besides, the pro-Kremlin media concluded that the Western sanctions are inefficient and the boycott of Russian energy imports would push the German economy down the timeline to the Middle Ages.
What Olaf Scholz actually meant in his speech at the summit is that the oil refinery in Schwedt in the eastern German state of Brandenburg is facing a bleak future due to the embargo. The plant processes entirely Russian crude. It supplies the lion’s share of the oil consumed in East Germany, including Berlin-Brandenburg airport. For the time being, the government has not found solutions on how to ensure the refinery’s operation without imports from Russia. Citing the Chancellor, an overhaul of the domestic industry that should run without Russian oil and gas will take a considerable time. That was the bottom line of his speech.