German regional PM opposes energy embargo on Russia amid already ‘toxic’ oil and gas prices

Saxony Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer. (Pawel Sosnowski, PM's Office)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

Instead of crippling its own economies with an energy embargo, the European Union should focus on sanctioning warmongers, Germany’s regional Prime Minister of Saxony Michael Kretschmer has said.

According to regional newspaper Sächsische Zeitung, Kretschmer said the market for oil, coal and natural gas is global, so if European countries buy not from Russia but from others, there will be a shortage for other previous buyers, which will “most likely be replaced by Russian sources.”

Therefore, the Russian “war instigators,” the oligarchs, the people of the national security services, and President Vladimir Putin should be punished rather than “further weakening Europe,” the politician said.

He added that energy is the most vulnerable point of any economy, the “Achilles heel” of the economy, and oil and gas prices are already “toxic.”

Thus, the planned new EU sanctions would have very serious consequences with energy shortages not only meaning that “homes will no longer be pleasantly warm,” but also that industrial production would slow and jobs could be cut, Kretschmer warned.

On behalf of the Greens — the smaller party in the Saxony coalition — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Energy, Climate and Environment and Agriculture Wolfram Günther told the Sächsische Zeitung that “a complete renunciation of Russian oil would have manageable economic consequences in Saxony and Germany.”

That, in turn, would “have far greater consequences if we did not act, both in terms of security policy and, above all, in humanitarian terms,” the Saxony deputy prime minister said.

Before Russia’s war against Ukraine, Russian imports accounted for 35 percent of oil consumption in Germany. The federal government is trying to reduce this dependence with recent figures showing that the proportion of Russian crude oil has been reduced to 12 percent since the start of the war.

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