Germany shamed over ‘ridiculous’ Russian gas claim after failure to protect Ukraine

Economist explains why Germany is still using Russian gas

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Riho Terras also urged Berlin to supply more weapons to Ukraine, saying Germany had “to start to really deliver” arms to Kyiv. EU leaders are coming under ever increasing pressure to impose sanctions on Russian energy imports, which are helping to fund Moscow’s war effort in Ukraine. Last week, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to adopt a resolution calling for “an immediate full embargo” on Russian oil, coal, nuclear fuel and gas.

The motion passed by 513 votes to 22 and came in the wake of remarks made by Josep Borrell that tried to shame European politicians into action.

The EU’s top diplomat told MEPs that the European Union had been paying Moscow €1 billion a day for its energy since the war in Ukraine started.

However, Germany has resisted calls for an immediate ban on Russian energy imports, claiming it would have devastating consequences for its economy.

Mr Terras told Express.co.uk that Berlin was exaggerating its concerns and could easily absorb the short term hit to its GDP.

He said: “If Germany tells me it is not possible to cut their gas – what happens if Putin cuts the gas?

“What should they do then? Would they go and say ‘sorry’? The logic is not there.

“Of course the level of the economy would go down a bit but the percentage I have seen is not that it collapses, it’s 3-4 percent less revenue for Germany.”

He added: “The world’s fourth economy is telling me that Russian gas is so important they will collapse? It is ridiculous and they understand that themselves.”

Support among Germans for a gas embargo is growing, with a majority now in favour, despite the consequences this would have for their ability to heat their homes.

Opinion polls show that between 55 and 77 percent of the public are in favour of turning off the Russian gas pipes immediately.

German industrial bosses, however, have warned such a move would lead to massive job losses.

Martin Brudermüller, the BASF chairman said: “We would get very high unemployment, many firms would go bust.

“It would lead to irreversible damage. To put it bluntly: it could lead Germany into its most serious crisis since the end of the second world war, and destroy our prosperity.”

Mr Terras, a former Commander of the Estonian Army, also called on Germany to provide far more military aid to Ukraine.

So far, Berlin has promised to supply 500 Stinger rockets and 1000 rocket launchers, and is discussing a further contribution of €300 million in military aid.

Yet this is a just a drop in the ocean of what it could supply, given Germany is the fourth biggest weapons exporter globally and has a sophisticated arms industry.

The former Estonian General said: “We really need Germany’s leadership. We need to deliver weapons yesterday and that is the challenge.

“We have too much of bureaucracy, we have too much of talk about weapons and Germany has to start to really deliver weapons to Ukraine.

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“They need to understand that Tallinn is just the same distance from Kyiv as it is Berlin and Berlin was occupied by Communists as much as Tallinn was.”

Germany’s military support for Ukraine has been beset by confusion and procrastination, along with infighting between the government’s coalition partners.

The SDP Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been reluctant to send heavy weapons, fearing this might make his country a future Russian target.

Berlin has so far refused to sanction the delivery of 100 Leopard 1 tanks that have been ready to ship out since March.

Mr Scholz’s hesitancy was criticised by Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, a Green Party politician.

She called for the delivery of “heavy weapons” to Kyiv and said that “now is not the time for excuses; now is the time for creativity and pragmatism.”

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