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Germany has already cut Russian oil imports by over 20%, with officials now spreading optimism that it could be only a matter of days before the country is capable of a total embargo on Russian oil.
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said Tuesday that a full embargo is “manageable” and that the country hoped to find a replacement for Russian oil within days. According to Habeck, Germany is now “very, very close” to making a full Russian oil embargo a reality.
So far, Germany has dropped Russian oil imports to around 12% of its total oil imports, down from 35% prior to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in late February.
The East German refinery in Schwedt is owned by Russia’s state-run Rosneft and inputs only Russian oil, as does another East German refinery in Leuna, according to Euractiv.
Instead of relying on Russian piped oil, the German Economy Ministry told the press gathering that deliveries would have to be via port and then truck and train, and that Polands’ Gdansk port would be the key partner to make this function.
Germany’s announcement coincides with another point of pressure on the European Union’s largest economy: Contributing weapons to the war against Russia in Ukraine–an avenue Germany has avoided until now.
Late on Tuesday, the German government announced that it would supply Ukraine with German-made heavy military equipment, in a complete about-face.
German Defense Minister Christina Lambrecht announced the move during opening remarks at the Ramstein air base in Germany, coming at the start of a US-hosted defense conference on Ukraine.
"Yesterday we decided that Germany will make the delivery of 'Gepard' anti-aircraft tanks possible to Ukraine," German Defense Minister Lambrecht said, as reported by DW.
“Germany, together with its allies, stands firmly at the side of its Ukrainian friends who are in dire need,” she said, acknowledging “criticism of Germany in recent weeks,” Lambrecht said.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com