Robert Habeck warns of high prices

orSeeing the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, Germany also wants to reduce its energy supplies from Russia. As a result, President Vladimir Putin’s war chest should no longer be filled directly or indirectly. The European Union is currently debating an oil embargo against Moscow.

What about the German part of the oil from Russia?

The share of Russian oil in German oil consumption fell from 35 to 12 percent within a few weeks. Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) made this clear this Sunday in the new progress report on energy security. Similarly, the trend for further energy supplies from Russia is declining. Habeck also thinks an oil embargo is feasible. The European Union’s plans for this should soon become more concrete. But a major hurdle remains: the operation of the important Schwedt refinery, which supplies large parts of East Germany. And the fear of another price shock for consumers and industry remains.

Will the EU decide on an oil embargo against Russia?

It looks a lot like. Following atrocities in Ukrainian countries such as Bucha, pressure on critical member states has increased. According to information from the German press agency in Brussels, even the German government, which had been hesitant for a long time, is now supporting plans to ban the import of Russian oil. Hungary, Austria and Slovakia, which themselves are heavily dependent on Russian oil, as well as Spain, Italy and Greece, which fear a further rise in energy prices, are also considered to be slowing things down. EU energy ministers want to meet in the afternoon and discuss an import ban in Brussels.

How far is Germany with its plans to halt remittances?

Habeck does not yet see any commitment within the EU to an oil boycott against Russia. “I do not know if an oil embargo is on hold in general,” he said in Berlin on Monday. Germany itself considers it manageable, but other countries are not ready yet. You do not want to cause economic disaster. However, an immediate ban on imports would have consequences for Germany as well. This would cause price increases or supply disruptions. Germany had given up its resistance after the share of Russian oil fell to almost twelve percent, according to Habeck. He pointed out the problem that an embargo could cause prices to rise and thus result in Russia gaining more despite fewer oil supplies. “Then we traded in lemons,” he said. But there are other ways to hit Russia with oil.

When could the oil embargo come?

According to dpa, the EU Commission, led by Ursula von der Leyen, wants to present the draft of a new package of sanctions against Russia as soon as possible. It is considered very likely that an oil embargo will be part of it. Possible transition periods are open. Since so many countries still have concerns, the proposal could be to allow imports of Russian oil until the fall or even winter. A possible alternative to the import ban is the EU’s upper price limit for oil from Russia in order to limit its revenues. According to estimates by the Bruegel Institute, Russian oil worth about 450 million euros was recently imported into the EU every day.

Value of crude oil exports in 2021 *

Graphics: omer. / *) in millions of dollars. Considers only export volumes greater than $ 900 million / Source: Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC), own calculations

How dependent is Germany on Russian oil?

Of German oil imports from Russia – according to Habeck, 35 percent of consumption in 2021 – so far about a third came by ship to West Germany and two-thirds via the Druzhba pipeline at the Leuna refineries in Saxony-Anhalt and Schwedt in Brandenburg. . Buyers in the West were looking for new suppliers, Habeck says. Operator Leuna Totalenergies also wants to replace Russian oil by the end of the year – if needed sooner, as the minister explains in a video message: “So the problem is solved.” The remaining twelve percent of Russian oil is attributed to Schwedt. . “The last third is the real problem,” says Habeck.

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