Germany should prepare for further reduction in gas flows, says Habeck

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(Bloomberg) – German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said the country should prepare for Russian President Vladimir Putin to further tighten gas imports, a move that could trigger the next stage of the plan. country’s gas emergency.

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“Given the current situation, we have to assume that Putin is ready to further reduce the flow of gas,” Habeck said Wednesday on the sidelines of an air show outside Berlin. “We are preparing for all scenarios.”

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Habeck said a further reduction in flows could prompt the government to move on to the second of a three-step crisis plan. The move could come as soon as this week, according to an official familiar with the plan, who asked not to be identified.

Passing stage two could mean changing the law to allow energy companies to pass on cost increases to homes and businesses, meaning higher prices for industry and households. It may also involve turning on more coal-fired power plants to minimize gas consumption.

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Habeck dismissed a media report that phase two could come into effect on July 8, saying he could not confirm that date. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported earlier that Habeck had mentioned the July timetable during an internal meeting of the parliamentary energy committee on Wednesday.

The government first declared the “early warning” phase at the end of March, when demands for ruble payments from the Kremlin prompted Germany to prepare for a possible supply cut.

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