GERMANY has declared an “early warning” over possible gas supply disruption amid a payments stand-off with Russia.
Russia has demanded “unfriendly” countries pay for its gas in roubles, but the EU, which mainly pays in euros, has rejected the idea.
On Wednesday, German economy minister Robert Habeck urged consumers and companies to reduce consumption in anticipation of possible shortages.
Germany gets about half its gas and a third of its oil from Russia. Berlin has pledged to reduce its dependence on Russian energy over time but warned it could face a recession if supplies stopped suddenly.
Under an existing gas emergency plan, the “early warning phase” is the first of three steps designed to prepare the country for a potential supply shock.
In its final stage, the government would bring in gas rationing. Mr Habeck told a news conference that gas supplies were safeguarded for the time being, but added: “Nevertheless, we must increase precautionary measures to be prepared for an escalation on the part of Russia. – bbc.com