Germany says Russia’s oil embargo would be ‘manageable’ – POLITICO

Berlin can handle an embargo on Russian oil imports, Germany’s climate and economy minister Robert Habeck said on Tuesday, suggesting the country could end its dependence on Moscow within “days”.

Habeck, speaks at a Press conference in Warsawsaid Germany has managed to reduce its dependency on Russian oil by two-thirds in recent weeks and cut the share of imports from 35 percent before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to 12 percent now.

The remaining Russian imports supply the Schwedt refinery in eastern Germany, he added, as other sites have already switched to alternative suppliers. Schwedt, which is operated by the Russian state-owned company Rosneft, supplies most of the capital region of Berlin-Brandenburg with fuel.

A lack of oil infrastructure between western and eastern Germany would have hit the eastern federal states particularly hard from an import ban – but a solution is near, said Habeck.

Dealing with Schwedt” is the last task standing in the way of a complete security of the energy supply. I can say that [oil] Embargo has become manageable for Germany.”

Habeck was in Warsaw to examine whether oil refineries in East Germany could be partially supplied via the Polish port of Gdansk and said both countries are working together on the issue.

The problem with Schwedt is the majority owner.

“Rosneft’s business model is to buy Russian oil, and that’s the stumbling block: if we don’t want Russian oil anymore, we need an alternative for Schwedt,” he said. “Developing this is the task of the next few days – and yes, I hope only days.”

As for Germany’s remaining fossil fuel dependency on Russia, he said Berlin is on track to find alternative coal supplies to comply with the EU embargo; the block earlier decided this month to end Russia’s coal purchases by August.

The natural gas issue will not be resolved any time soon, he admitted. The share of Russian imports is now 40 percent, down from 55 percent before the war. Germany obtains its gas via pipelines, but wants to build up capacity to take in liquefied natural gas.

“In the case of gas, we are working hard to overcome Germany’s high level of dependence – and that was a mistake – by building up LNG capacities,” said Habeck.

Daniel Günther, Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein, called Tuesday that he expects the floating LNG terminal in his region to become operational early next year. Germany says Russia's oil embargo would be 'manageable' - POLITICO

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