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Germany wants to stop using Russian coal by the end of the year

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By Euronews
German Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck
German Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Michael Sohn

Germany announced on Friday that it was "rapidly reducing" its reliance on Russian energy.

It has plans to become independent of Russian coal by the fall and nearly independent of Russian oil by the end of the year.

German dependency on Russian oil will drop to around 25 per cent in the coming weeks, economy and climate minister Robert Habeck said on Friday, with imports to Germany expected to be halved by the middle of the year as companies develop contracts with new suppliers.

By the end of the year, Germany aims to be nearly independent of Russian oil imports.

Meanwhile, dependency on coal will drop from 50 per cent to around 25 per cent in the next few weeks, with Germany becoming independent of Russian coal imports by the autumn.

Prior to the invasion, Germany depended on Russian imports for about a third of its oil and nearly half of its hard coal.

But Russian gas accounts for more than half of Germany's natural gas imports so cutting back on its natural gas will require more effort.

"There is still a way to go and we will only be able to say goodbye to Russian gas with a joint effort - federal, state, local authorities, companies and private households together," Habeck said in a statement.

But Habeck said that it would be possible to become independent of Russian gas by mid-2024. The government will start by reserving three floating LNG terminals capable of receiving shipments on the coast.

He said it was still too early for an energy embargo as the "economic and social consequences would still be too serious."

"But every supply contract that is terminated harms Putin,” Habeck said.

Additional sources • AFP