Lazy eyes listen
Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that Berlin and London have no plans to restore trade links with Moscow even once the Ukraine war is resolved and President Vladimir Putin leaves office.
“This is a relationship that has come to an end,” Germany’s ambassador to the UK, Miguel Berger, said at the Energy Intelligence Forum in London. “There will be no return,” declared UK Minister for Energy and Net Zero Graham Stuart.
Over the Ukraine war last year, Western European countries reduced energy imports from Russia, their previous major fuel source, and imposed embargoes on Russian coal and oil.
Natural gas supplies from Russia have also decreased drastically as a result of Western sanctions and sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines. In terms of direct purchases, Moscow now meets less than 10% of the continent’s energy demands. By 2021, Russian petrol would account for almost 45% of EU purchases and approximately 40% of EU consumption.
While the loss for the UK may not be significant because it was buying just around 4% of its gas and 9% of its crude oil from Russia in 2021, the loss of Russian gas has resulted in a catastrophic energy crisis for Germany. Western sanctions have depleted over half of the EU’s largest and most industrialised economy’s petrol supplies.
“The situation is very challenging,” Berger said. Petrol costs will continue high, causing “constant pressure for Germany and its industry.”
Despite the EU’s commitment to stop consuming Russian energy, imports of pipeline gas from Russia have been mostly suspended. However, EU members have continued to acquire record volumes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the sanctioned country this year.
Spain, France, and Belgium were among the countries that increased purchases of Russia’s super-chilled fuel, which has remained unregulated despite repeated pleas from EU authorities to turn off the flow.