German and Austrian Ministers: ‘No Alternative’ To Ending Dependency on Russian Energy

08 July 2022, Berlin: Robert Habeck (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, listens during a press conference after the meeting of the minister presidents of the northern German states. The states of Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein exchange views on the energy …
Photo by Fabian Sommer/picture alliance via Getty Images

Ministers from Germany and Austria have made it clear that there is “no alternative” to ending their dependency on Russian energy and becoming energy independent as Russia shuts down pipelines.

German Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Economic Affairs Robert Habeck and Austrian Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler met this week in Vienna to discuss the ongoing energy situation and both agreed on a need to become more independent of Russia.

Both countries have agreed to both bilateral and European proposals to phase out Russian energy and develop new sources of energy to offset reliance on Russia, primarily on Russian gas supplies, the newspaper Kronen Zeitung reports.

“We will only be safe again when we are independent of Russian gas supplies,” Minister Habeck said, while Minister Gewessler added, “there is no alternative” to becoming less dependent on Russian sources of energy.

Habeck also noted that European countries could be in for months of interruption in energy supplies but assured that no one would freeze as a result of interruptions this coming winter.

Fears were stoked on Monday when Russia halted gas supplies on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline for ten days, claiming the halt was due to annual maintenance work. However, Minister Habeck stated that EU countries should be prepared in case Russia shut down the pipeline permanently.

Earlier this month, Germans were told to prepare for gas shortages and do their best to save energy in preparation for the winter, with Federal Network Agency President Klaus Mueller calling on residents to have boilers and radiators checked in order to reduce gas consumption.

“I can promise that we will do everything we can to avoid private households being without gas,” Mueller said and added, “We learned from the coronavirus crisis that we shouldn’t make promises if we’re not entirely sure we can keep them.”

To reduce the impact of a possible shortage of Russian energy supplies the European Union has called on Germany to delay the closure of three nuclear power plants but the German leftist coalition government has rejected the proposal and will go ahead with plans to close the plants by the end of the year.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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