Germany raises alert level, moves closer to rationing gas

FRANKFURT: Germany moved closer to rationing natural gas yesterday as it raised the alert level under an emergency plan after Russia slashed supplies to the country.

Gas is now a scarce commodity in Germany, Economy Minister Robert Habeck told reporters at a press conference.

Russia was using gas as a weapon against Germany in retaliation for the Wests support for Ukraine following Moscows invasion, Habeck said, with the aim of destroying European unity.

But the Kremlin dismissed Germanys suggestion there were political motives behind the limits to supply as strange.

Germany, like a number of other European countries, is highly reliant on Russian energy imports to meet its needs.

Triggering the alarm level the second of three steps under the emergency plan brings Germany a step closer to the final stage that could see gas rationing in Europes top economy.

The increased level reflected a significant deterioration of the gas supply situation, Habeck said.

If we do nothing now, things will get worse, Habeck said.

Russian energy giant Gazprom cut supplies to Germany via the Nord Stream pipeline by 60% last week, blaming the new limits on delayed repairs.

Germany has dismissed the technical justification provided by Gazprom, instead calling the move a political decision.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said yesterday there was no double meaning in the supply decision.

Our German partners are well aware of the technological servicing cycles of a pipeline, he said. Its strange to call it pol....

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