A new study by Greenpeace has revealed that Germany, which gets a third of its gas from Russia, would have to pay Moscow record sums this year if its dependency is not slashed. The study says payments for Russian oil could rise from €11.4billion (£9.5billion) to €14.3billion (£11.9billion) in 2022 compared to the previous year. And the study warned that Germany’s gas payments to Russia could double, up from €8.8billion (£7.3billion) last year to €17.6billion.
Greenpeace economist Mauricio Vargas said: “The German Government’s talk about possible import stops without tangible action is highly counterproductive.
“It drives up gas prices further and flushes record revenues into Putin’s war chest. This war funding must be stopped.”
The Greenpeace study also put forward that if Germany is absolutely unable of slapping down sanctions on gas, which the NGO recognise would be particularly damaging to Germany’s economy due to its huge reliance on Russia, other measures should be taken instead.
The paper reads: “From a peace policy perspective, an immediate import stop for Russian coal, oil and gas would therefore definitely be called for.”
But it goes on: “If the German government shies away from a gas embargo, it must immediately set up alternative sanction instruments such as a peace levy to stem the flow of money to Russia.”
The NGO suggests that parts of Russia’s export revenues should be diverted and kept, and should instead be used for things like helping Ukraine to rebuild after the war.
The report continues: “As energy money for citizens, the revenues could cushion the high costs of energy.”
This comes as a number of EU member states have been scrambling to wean themselves off Russian energy as the bloc continues to hand Putin billions amid the Ukraine war.
While the European Parliament has urged the EU Commission to immediately ban Russia’s gas and oil, opposition to sanctions has been led by a reliant Germany, which appeared to hamstring an effective response from the bloc.
Berlin has repeatedly argued that ties cannot be cut overnight.
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenesky has hit out at Germany for prioritising “economy, economy, economy” over the people of Ukraine.
Mr Zelensky said in desperate appeal to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz: “Some politicians are still unable to decide how to limit the flow of petrodollars and oil euros to Russia so as not to put their own economies at risk.
“The only question is how many more Ukrainian men, how many more Ukrainian women, the Russian military will have time to kill in order for you, certain politicians – and we know who you are – to find some determination.”