Germany is the largest economy in the European Union. Approximately one-third of Germany’s total energy consumption comes from imports of Russian commodities. Germany is therefore not in favor of an outright ban, but if anything it would choose the option of phasing out imports of Russian oil by the end of 2022 and Russian gas within 2 years.
Overall, the European Union takes about 40% of its natural gas and about 25% of its oil from Russia.
Could Germany manage without Russian commodities?
Germany could probably do it, but it would entail a lot of complications. The mightily developed engineering and automotive industries could face shutdowns, and businesses already badly damaged by either the Covid-19 pandemic or the current rise in inflation and consumer prices could see their operating costs rise again.
Ministers in the EU are now discussing the sixth round of possible new sanctions against Russia. In the five rounds that have already taken place, the EU has restricted cooperation with a large number of companies and there has also been a ban on a relatively large number of assets of Russian oligarchs.
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However, for Russia, only gas and oil exports are still important. As long as the EU takes these Russian commodities, it will still be supporting the Russian economy to some extent. Of course, as we have informed you before, Russia is trying to compensate for its dwindling supplies to the EU by exporting to Asia.
Another commodity that is exported in by Russia to Europe is coal. However, a ban on imports of Russian coal has already been agreed upon and will be introduced in August. However, coal exports are not as important to Russia as oil and gas exports. We also informed you about the end of Russian coal imports to Europe in an earlier article.