Berlin should start importing energy from Moscow again despite the political situation, German politician Anton Baron says © Getty Images / Steven Nourse
The EU’s largest economy, Germany, should not put sanctions policy against Russia ahead of the country’s energy security, German MP and right-wing AfD party leader Anton Baron has warned.
In an interview in Stuttgarter Zeitung on Friday, Baron said that by pursuing punitive measures against Russia and rejecting its supplies of energy, Germany is putting itself in peril by sliding from one energy dependency to another.
“We switch off nuclear power plants and coal-fired power plants, relying more and more on renewable energies, even though there are no storage facilities,” he stated.
Despite Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine, which Germany opposes, the country should start importing Russian gas again, Baron insisted.
“Russian gas was a blessing for the [German] economy and our prosperity,” he said, noting that “to say that by using [Russian gas] we are financing Putin’s war is nonsense.” As the majority of the population needs gas to heat homes in the winter, he explained, “we cannot make it dependent on war conditions – it’s a pure necessity.”
Earlier this week, another German MP, Uwe Schulz, acknowledged that sanctions have failed to destabilize Russia, but have instead ravaged the German economy.
“Sanctions against Russia… are leading Germany and its economic activity straight to de-industrialization,” the politician stated. He called on the government to immediately “lift economic sanctions against Russia” in order to “prevent [further] economic damage.”
Germany relied on Russia for 40% of its gas needs prior to 2022 and was among the hardest hit by the drop in Russian energy supplies among EU countries last year. Deliveries were either significantly reduced or entirely halted after Brussels imposed multiple rounds of sanctions on Moscow in response to the conflict in Ukraine. The German group of gas-storage operators INES warned this week that the country will be at risk of gas shortages until at least the winter of 2026/2027.
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