According to the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, a Western embargo on Russian oil and gas imports, is unlikely to stop the war in Ukraine.
Recently interviewed by German newspaper Der Spiegel, Scholz said: “I don’t think that a gas embargo would stop the war. If Putin were open to economic arguments, he would never have started this insane war.”
Germany relies heavily on Russian oil and gas, upwards of 55 percent of the country’s needs in fact. The Germans have been feeling the pressure to put a full embargo on Russia, but with no legitimate alternatives, they are stuck with the Russians for at least the time being.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said last week that those who are still purchasing Russian oil and gas were making money “out of blood.”
The German economy is not looking like it is doing very well and it was publicized by the German Central Bank, that the economy could shrink by a whopping 5 percent more than previously expected if they go ahead with the embargo.
He said: “That would have huge consequences for our country, for the whole of Europe, and would also severely impact the financing of Ukraine’s reconstruction. So, it’s my responsibility to say: ‘We can’t allow that’.”
The CEO of Deutsche Bank, said a recession was unavoidable if Germany cuts off Russian oil and gas and other commodities. Economists have estimated that the economy could drop by 220 billion euros or 6.5 percent of its gross domestic product.
The European Union has already agreed to stop importing Russian coal later this year, but has not announced an embargo on gas and oil products.
Germany and other parts of Europe are desperately trying to find alternatives to buying from Putin, but the reality is, renewable energy and the like, are not as reliable, nor does it have the capacity to power a continent that half freezes during the winter.
The EU wants to “diversify” supplies and Germany is expected to at least halve its imports of Russian oil and gas by the end of 2022.
Germany also halted the plans that were in place for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a vital artery between Russian oil manufacturers and the rest of Europe and about a third of all gas and oil imports into the EU has come from Russia according to the International Energy Agency.
It seems, any decisions that have been made during the Russia-Ukraine war, have been done in haste and the long-term, far-reaching consequences, have not been carefully considered.
If the European Union gets this wrong, there will be a painful winter coming at the end of 2022.