The government argues that countries enforcing sanctions should not take the risk of destabilizing them. Since Germany gets half of its gas and coal and about one-third of its oil from Russia, experts say a transition will be needed to avoid a sudden power outage. Foreign Minister Analena Beerbock warned on January 8, “If the situation is such that nurses and teachers stop working and we have to go without electricity for several days … then Putin will win the war in part because he would throw other countries in chaos.” “(Read: Russian people are being mistreated in Germany.) Based on the precarious situation in Germany, Beerbock acknowledged in an interview that Finance Minister Robert Habek would have to” buy coal from around the world. ” Attempts are being made urgently. “But experts say a complete ban would be painful, but not impossible.
Are the Germans ready? In a survey published this week, nine economists wrote that Russia’s oil and coal could easily be replaced by imports from other countries, although it would be somewhat harder for gas. The study said that if other suppliers could not completely replace Russian gas, families and businesses would “accept a 30 percent reduction in supplies” and reduce German overall energy costs by eight percent. According to economists, the country’s GDP could fall by 0.2 to 3 percent, and sanctions could increase the burden on every German citizen by 80 to 1,000 euros a year. Leopoldina National Academy of Sciences also said that it would be difficult to temporarily cut off Russian gas supplies, but possible for the German economy. The institute also said that it could “lead to an energy crisis next winter” but that sufficient government support would be needed to protect consumers from rising prices and encourage them to move towards renewable energy.
Many observers have argued that Germany could move beyond nuclear power this year. (Read: How serious will the effects of Russia’s oil embargo be?) Conservative Christoph Heusgen, Angela Merkel’s adviser, told the ARD channel that the Germans were ready to help keep their homes a little colder. According to a YouGov poll published this week, most Germans will support a boycott of Russian oil and gas. 54 percent of people said they fully or slightly agree. CK / VK (AFP).