World, Europe

Germany remains reluctant to ban energy imports from Russia

Chancellor Olaf Scholz warns that energy sanctions could have negative effect on European economies

Ayhan Simsek   | 22.03.2022
Germany remains reluctant to ban energy imports from Russia

BERLIN

Germany on Tuesday reiterated its opposition to energy sanctions on Russia, warning that it could have negative consequences for European economies.

Speaking at a joint news conference with European Parliament President Roberta Metsola in Berlin, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said European countries should carefully asses the suggested measures.

“Sanctions should have an effect on the aggressor, but at the same time, we should make sure that they have minimal repercussions for our economies, and we should be able to uphold them,” he said.

Scholz underlined that not only Germany, but also many other EU countries still need to buy their gas, oil and coal from Russia, as they have no other alternatives in the short term.

“But we have decided to become independent, as soon as possible, from imports of coal, gas and oil from Russia. And we’re working on this at full speed,” he added.

The German chancellor said the EU countries have already imposed the “harshest ever sanctions" against Russia last month in response to its attack on Ukraine, with strong economic and financial measures.

“And these sanctions have started to show their impact on the Russia’s economy, and it will become more dramatic every day,” he stressed.

Scholz renewed his call for Russian President Vladimir Putin to immediately cease all combat operations in Ukraine and withdraw the Russian troops from the country.

“A cease-fire is urgently needed to end the inconceivable suffering and destruction,” he said.

Russia's war on Ukraine, which began Feb. 24, has drawn international condemnation, led to financial sanctions on Moscow, and spurred an exodus of global firms from Russia.

At least 953 civilians have been killed in Ukraine, while more than 1,557 others have been injured, according to UN estimates. Over 3.5 million people have also fled to neighboring countries.

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