German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Tuesday that her country would end its dependence entirely on Russian oil and gas.
Speaking at an energy conference in Berlin, Baerbock condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying his “war on Ukraine changed the geopolitics and security assessments of Germany.”
“This has caused so much suffering to millions of people, but it has also made it clear to us that we must become completely independent of Russian fuel imports,” she added.
Baerbock also criticized previous German governments for not taking serious measures to reduce the country’s dependence on gas, oil and coal imports from Russia.
She noted that “Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 led to discussions in Europe about diversifying energy imports, but governments did not take any major steps.”
The German minister concluded her speech by saying: “Now we see the consequences of this in a very tragic way.”
Germany imports 55 percent of its natural gas from Russia, 35 percent of its crude oil, and 45 percent of its coal.
And last week, the German government announced an ambitious plan to significantly reduce its long-term energy dependence on Russia, according to New York Times.
On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine, which was followed by angry international reactions and the imposition of “tough” economic and financial sanctions on Moscow.
To end the operation, Russia requires Ukraine to abandon any plans to join military entities, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and to adhere to complete neutrality, which Kyiv considers an “interference in its sovereignty.”