BERLIN — Germany will come close to ending its imports of Russian oil and coal by the end of the year, the country’s Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck said Friday.
“Companies are letting their contracts with Russian suppliers run out, not renewing them and switching to other suppliers at an insane pace,” Habeck said in Berlin while presenting a report on Germany’s energy security. Germany gets 55 percent of its natural gas, 52 percent of its hard coal and 34 percent of its oil from Russia.
Germany is under growing pressure from Poland and the Baltic countries to immediately halt all energy imports from Russia; Habeck said it’s “still too early” for an energy embargo, but ending individual import contracts was having a cumulative effect.
As a result, Germany’s dependence on Russian oil will decline to around 25 percent in the coming weeks, he said. It should then be cut in half during the summer and ended almost entirely by year’s end.
For coal, imports will be halved over the coming weeks and all but ended by the fall.
“By the end of the year we aim to be almost independent,” said Habeck.
He said easing dependence on Russian gas will take at least until 2024.
“The first important milestones have been reached to free us from the grip of Russian imports,” said Habeck. “Every supply contract terminated hurts Putin.”