Russian tank targeted in precise Ukrainian drone attack
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Russia is continuing to ramp up the pressure on Europe as Russian state-controlled energy company Gazprom announced yet more reductions in its delivery to countries like Germany. The company will cut gas delivery via the Nord Stream pipeline to about 20 percent of its capacity when? Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of provoking a “gas war” having already branded Moscow’s actions a “gas blackmail of Europe”. Moscow is retaliating against European countries that have hit Moscow with further sanctions and provided Ukraine with weapons after Russian forces invaded its neighbour in February.
While the West wants to stand firmly behind Ukraine, Russia’s gas supply shows this won’t come without a cost.
This is especially true for Germany, who over the years has built a stronger economic relationship with Russia than most.
Some in Germany now fear a complete gas cut-off.
Robert Habeck, Germany’s economy minister, warned of this earlier this month, branding it a “nightmare scenario”.
Where/to who did he say this He said: “Everything is possible, everything can happen. It could be that the gas flows again, maybe more than before. It can also be the case that nothing comes.
“We need to honestly prepare for the worst-case scenario and do our best to try to deal with the situation.”
It has been reported today that Germany is on the verge of a recession as a result of the gas row with Russia.
Research institute What does IFO stand for? Full name at first mention then acronym IFO said that German companies are very concerned about what the next six months will bring: “Higher energy prices and the threat of a gas shortage are weighing on the economy.”
Clemens Fuest, the president of the IFO Institute, added: “Companies are expecting business to become much more difficult in the coming months.
“They were also less satisfied with their current situation. Germany is on the cusp of a recession.”
Jorge Kraemer, an economist at Commerzbank, also told Business Insider: “The IFO business climate index, like the purchasing managers’ index, now clearly points to a downturn in the German economy.
“How bad it ends up, unfortunately, lies mainly in Putin’s hands.”
Other countries in Europe are also bracing for impact – French President Emmanuel Macron told his country earlier this month that they should prepare for a complete cut-off from Russian gas.
In a televised interview, he said: “This war will continue. The summer, early autumn will be very hard.
“Russia is using energy, like it is using food, as a weapon of war. “We should prepare ourselves for the scenario where we have to go without all Russian gas.”
There has also been concern in the UK, with some experts warning Britain will face blackouts as a result of Putin’s war in Ukraine.
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Ministers warned in May that six million homes in the UK could face blackouts this winter.
The Times also reported that a worst case scenario had been drawn up by Whitehall officials.
One minister told the paper that electricity may have to be rationed for six million households.
A Whitehall source added: “As a responsible Government it is right that we plan for every single extreme scenario, however unlikely. Britain is well prepared for any supply disruptions.
“Unlike EU countries, our North Sea gas reserves are being pumped out at full pelt, Norwegian rigs are directly connected into the UK, and we have the second-largest LNG import infrastructure in Europe — whereas Germany has none.
“Given the EU’s historic dependence on Putin’s gas, the winter could be very hard for countries on the continent.”
However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesperson seemed less concerned than the outlooks given by ministers.
In a statement, they said: “I think you would expect Government to look at a range of scenarios to ensure plans are robust, no matter how unlikely they are to pass. Neither the Government or National Grid expect power cuts this winter.
“You will know that we are in a fortunate position, we are not dependent on Russian energy imports and have one of the most reliable and diverse energy systems.”
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