Germany Signals Opposition to Ban on Russian Energy Imports
(Bloomberg) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he opposes cutting off energy supplies from Russia, calling imports of oil and gas of “essential importance” to the European economy.
Germany relies on Russia for more than half of its gas and coal supplies and more than a third of its oil. To compensate for lost Russian gas, the country would need deliveries from the world’s entire 600-vessel fleet of liquefied natural gas tankers, business lobby DIHK estimates.
Alongside European discussions, the U.S. is exploring legislation that would ban the import of Russian oil and energy products, a move that would add to economic pressure on President Vladimir Putin.
Oil soared to just shy of $140 a barrel after the White House said it was considering an embargo on Russian supplies. European energy prices climbed to records with benchmark gas increasing 79% to 345 euros a megawatt-hour.
European governments are close to readying a new set of measures against Russia, including potential action on ports and ships, sanctioning more individuals as well as further restrictions on technologies used in military equipment, according to people familiar with the discussions. Some of the measures could come as early as Tuesday, said one of the people.