Germany will halt imports of Russian coal from next month and Russian oil by the end of the year, a top economic aide to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced amid pressure on European countries to end their dependence on Russian energy following its invasion of Ukraine.
“We will be off Russian coal in a few weeks,” the state-run TASS news agency quoted Joerg Kukies as saying at the Sydney Energy Forum on Wednesday.
“In accordance with the sanctions, imports of Russian coal will go down to zero despite the fact that Russia supplied 40% of all our coal.”
Kukies added that Germany also aims to end its dependence on oil supplies from Russia by the end of the year.
“Ridding yourself of that dependence [on the Druzhba oil pipeline] is not a trivial matter, but it is one that we will achieve in a few months,” he said.
The vast majority of Russian coal supplied to Germany comes from Siberia’s Kemerovo region. In 2017, Germany was the second-largest buyer of Siberian coal after the Netherlands, according to statistics cited by the regional Taiga.Info news outlet.
Germany’s decision follows a similar move by Poland earlier this year and could have a considerable impact on the economy of the resource-rich Russian region, which hopes to minimize the damage by reorienting exports toward the Asia-Pacific region.