Germany will stop buying Russian coal on August 1 and oil on December 31, MP says late min

Deputy Finance Minister Joerg Kukies arrives for questioning by a German Federal Parliament committee investigating the payment systems provider Wirecard scandal in Berlin, Germany, April 21, 2021. Bernd von Jutrczenka/Pool via REUTERS

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SYDNEY, July 13 (Reuters) – Germany will completely stop buying Russian coal on August 1 and Russian oil on December 31, marking a major shift in the country’s energy supply source, the deputy minister said. of Finance Joerg Kukies at a conference in Sydney.

The main challenge will be to fill the huge void that will remain when the European Union weans itself from the 158 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year of gas that Russia supplies, Kukies said.

“We will be out of Russian coal in a few weeks,” he told the Sydney Energy Forum, co-hosted by the Australian government and the International Energy Agency.

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Russia previously supplied 40% of Germany’s coal and 40% of its oil, he said.

“Anyone who knows the story of the Druzhba pipeline, which was already a tool of the Soviet empire over Eastern Europe, getting rid of this dependency is not an easy task, but it is what we will achieve in a few months,” Kukies said. said.

Germany is rapidly developing liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals to help fill the gas supply gap, but he pointed out that if the United States and Qatar together could supply about 30 billion cubes of gas in the form of LNG to Europe, this still left a huge void. .

“We can’t just imagine this problem,” Kukies said.

He said that while Germany focused on the transition to net zero emissions and had recently put in place legislation to accelerate the development of renewable energy projects, gas would be essential to the transition.

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Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Kenneth Maxwell

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