Friday, 7 October, 2022

Germany in ‘better position’ to counter Russian gas threat: Scholz

MESEBERG(Germany): Government measures to assure supplies of gas over the winter have prepared Germany to deal with further curbs in Russian deliveries, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Tuesday, a day before Moscow is due to cut off gas supplies for three days.

Germany has set about weaning itself off Russian gas since the invasion of Ukraine, bringing mothballed coal power plants back online, launching a drive to save power and filling its gas storage facilities ahead of the end of the year, reports AFP.

The government said Sunday it had made faster progress replenishing its gas stocks than expected and should meet an October target early.

The preparations meant Germany "was in a much better position in terms of security of supply than was foreseeable a couple of months ago," Scholz said in a statement to journalists.

"We can deal well with the threats we are confronted with from Russia, which uses gas as part of its strategy in the war against Ukraine," he added ahead of a government retreat in the eastern region of Brandenburg.

Ministers are set to discuss their further response to soaring prices for energy and relief for bill payers.

They will also be joined by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez later Tuesday, whose country has capped the price of gas used at power plants to mitigate electricity price rises.

The measure is seen as a possible template for a reform of the wider European electricity market, as leaders search to reduce the pressure on households.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Monday the bloc was preparing to take "emergency" action to reform the electricity market and bring prices under control.