BERLIN, Germany: Amidst a payments stand-off with Russia, which has demanded “unfriendly” countries pay for its gas in roubles, Germany and Austria have activated emergency plans due to possible gas supply disruptions.
The European Union (EU), which mainly pays for Russian gas in euros, has rejected the Russian demand, and Moscow later appeared to soften its stance, stating, that rouble payments would be introduced gradually.
However, Germany and Austria have taken the first steps towards gas rationing, urging consumers and companies to reduce consumption.
Russia, which provides Germany with about half its gas and one-third of its oil, has warned that Germany could face a recession if supplies suddenly stopped.
Austria receives 80 percent of its gas from Russia, but Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer’s office said measures, such as gas rationing, would only be implemented in an “immediate crisis.”
Meanwhile, Robert Habeck, German economy minister, said the country’s gas supplies were safeguarded for the time being, but it would intensify its precautionary measures if Russia escalates the situation.