Wednesday 24th of April 2024


Germany has blamed Russia for forcing it to resort to coal for heating and electricity in place of clean natural gas. Is there any truth behind this assertion? Sputnik investigates.

Vladimir Putin is personally to blame for Germany’s gas crisis, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck has announced. 

“Half of Germany’s entire gas supply has been stopped because Putin turned off the gas tap and pipelines are now in disrepair. This means that in the foreseeable future, they will not be operational,” Habeck said, speaking to reporters against the backdrop of massive piles of coal at a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in northwestern Germany on Friday.

“Right now we do not have half of the previous supply volumes. Three new LNG terminals will provide us with about a quarter of the old volume, or 55 billion cubic meters,” the minister said.

Germany’s three floating LNG terminals are capable of taking in and processing about 14 billion cubic meters of gas per year (bcm/yr), and Berlin hopes to increase its capacity to over 30 bcm/yr by the end of 2023, according to Habeck’s calculations.

Friday’s comments aren’t the first time the German economy minister has blamed Russia’s president for Germany’s gas woes.

Former Austrian deputy chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache says Berlin's turn to the ever-convenient Russian boogeyman has to do with its concern that the public will find out the real reasons behind energy shortages and high prices, which have nothing to do with Moscow.

"Russia wanted to and was prepared to continue gas deliveries to the EU and Germany. But Ukraine and Germany stopped further pipeline-based deliveries, while Nord Steam was destroyed, with the Russians not given access to the investigation," Strache told Sputnik in an interview. "Nord Stream 2 was blocked from exploitation at Germany's initiative," he added.


According to the former deputy chancellor, it's in the current German government's interest to hide the truth about the causes of the energy crisis, which could very well result in industry coming to a standstill, and consumers being left without electricity. Otherwise, "they would have to admit that they themselves are responsible" for the calamity, the politician noted.

Last June, Habeck suggested that Berlin was in “sort of an arm wrestling match” with Putin over energy, accusing Russia's president of trying to “create chaos” and “attack us” amid the decline of Russian gas deliveries via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which Gazprom attributed to delays in repair work of compressor stations thanks to Western sanctions.

In September, after the Nord Stream pipelines were damaged by sabotage, Habeck implied that Russia blew up its own infrastructure. Finally, in October, while criticizing Washington over the “astronomical” prices of American LNG, the minister nevertheless blamed Russia, not the US, for pushing Germany to the brink of recession. “We mustn’t let Putin win with this strategy of endangering our economic prosperity,” Habeck said.





habeck's SCHEISSE.....

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck pinned the blame for the nation's energy crunch and shift to dirty fuels on Russian President Vladimir Putin, who, according to the minister, "turned off the gas tap." International observers dismissed Habeck's remarks as utter nonsense while speaking to Sputnik.

"What else is left for Mr. Habeck to do? He cannot say that it were his actions that led to such unfortunate consequences for the German economy and for German consumers," Alexey Grivach, deputy head of Russia's National Energy Security Fund, told Sputnik.

"After all, it is precisely because of his rash actions that all German citizens are now suffering - and not only Germany, but the entire European Union. Therefore, Habeck has engaged in such a political, verbal balancing act, trying to convince someone that if there is no gas in the pipe, then Russia is to blame. But, fortunately, everyone knows perfectly well what really happened."

Speaking to journalists last Friday, Habeck claimed that half of Germany’s entire gas supply had been stopped by Russia. He added that given that Nord Stream pipelines had been destroyed, Germany would not be able to get Russian fuel through them in the foreseeable future.

Done by Habeck's Own Hands

Sputnik's interlocutors have been perplexed by Habeck's whining: it was Berlin that succumbed to Washington's pressure last year and froze Gazprom's Nord Stream 2 pipeline project that would have doubled the total capacity of the Nord Stream system from 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) to 110 bcm.

It was Robert Habeck, in propria persona, who on February 22, 2022, instructed the withdrawal of a security-of-supply assessment granted under former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s tenure, which was required to authorize Nord Stream 2.

It was Habeck, again, who pledged in early May 2022 to replace all Russian energy imports, most notably natural gas, by as soon as mid-2024, following the beginning of Moscow's special operation to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

The minister gleefully announced at that time that Germany's share of Russian gas had already dropped from 55% in 2021 to around 35% by mid-April 2022, adding that even faster progress was achieved for oil and coal where shares had dropped to 12% and 8%, respectively. To that end, Berlin leased four floating LNG terminals online to supply some 33 bcm/year, seeking to start operating the first of the Floating Storage Regasification Units (FSRU) in late 2022 and 2023.










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