Germany vowed to gradually slash its dependency on Russian hydrocarbon products by autumn, according to international media reports citing the German economy ministry on Friday.
The country plans to cut its coal imports by half by the end of autumn after cutting oil imports from June.
'In recent weeks, together with all relevant players, we have made intensive efforts to import less fossil energy from Russia and broaden out our supply base,' Economy Minister Robert Habeck, was quoted as saying.
Habeck described the move as “the first important milestone to free Germany from the grip of Russian imports.”
- Germany is unprepared to impose an energy embargo on Russia
Habeck’s remarks came after he said on Thursday that Germany is unprepared to impose an energy embargo on Russia.
Russia supplies 55% of Germany's natural gas, 35% of its crude oil, and 45% of its coal.
Meanwhile, Germany is in talks with LNG majors, Norway and Qatar, to reduce dependence on Russian gas.
With a lack of LNG terminals, which are stopping it from directly importing LNG from Qatar, Germany plans to construct LNG terminals in the northern coastal cities of Brunsbuttel and Wilhelmshaven in the next two years.
Although the EU plans to impose fresh sanctions on Russia, which might directly target the Russian oil sector, some EU countries, including Germany, are hesitant to apply sanctions on the oil and gas sector.
The bloc had slapped Russia with numerous sanctions earlier in March. However, these excluded energy.
The US and UK unilaterally banned Russian oil imports, while Russia on Wednesday announced its plan to seek payments in rubles for Russian energy resources from 'unfriendly countries.'
By Sibel Morrow