In Germany’s most definitive statement yet regarding Russian oil and gas imports, the German Foreign Minister has pledged that the country will cease importing Russian oil entirely by the end of 2022.
While Germany will only gradually stop Russian natural gas imports, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Wednesday that by this summer, the country will halve Russian oil imports and zero them out by year’s end, “and then gas will follow”.
That’s a large commitment from Germany, which relies on Russian oil for some one-quarter to one-third of its imports and Russian gas for some 40% of its imports. Germany also is seeking to wean itself off Russian coal by the third quarter of this year.
An immediate halt to all Russian oil and gas imports would lead to recession in Germany by 2023, economists have warned.
German businesses and unions on Monday joined forces to oppose an “immediate” ban on Russian oil and gas.
And JPMorgan has said that such an immediate ban could push oil prices to as high as $185 per barrel.
The German Foreign Minister remained vague on plans for natural gas after 2022, and for now, a European Union ban on Russian gas is not on the table.
Germany struck a deal with Qatar for liquefied natural gas in March, which could help the country wean itself off of Russian natural gas; however, this will come at a higher price that will have an economic impact on the European Union’s largest economy, Forbes reports.
The US has already banned Russian oil imports and the UK plans to phase them out by the end of the year, as well.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com