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Germany opposes a ban on gas imports,



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German Finance Minister Christian Lindner and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Sunday opposed a ban on imports of gas, oil and coal from Russia as part of new sanctions on the invasion of Ukraine, writes AFP.

“We need to be able to maintain (sanctions) over time,” the head of diplomacy, Annalena Baerbock, told ARD. “It’s useless to find out in three weeks that we only have a few more days of electricity left in Germany, so we need to lift those sanctions,” she added.

“We are willing to pay a very, very high economic price,” but “if the lights go out in Germany or Europe tomorrow, that won’t stop the tanks,” Annalena Baerbock said in an interview with ZDF.

“If these sanctions were to end this war, I would take them away immediately,” she said.

The United States is negotiating intensely

According to U.S. Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken, the United States is “actively discussing” the possibility of banning Russian oil imports.

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner was also skeptical.

“We must not limit our ability to endure over time,” and “deciding on a unilateral embargo will have a negative impact on that ability,” he told Bild.

Such a ban on imports of gas and oil from Russia “would threaten social peace” in Germany, Ecology Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Friday, according to DCNews.

How dependent Germany is

Germany imports 55% of its gas, 42% of its oil and coal from Russia, a dependency for which the government has been self-critical since the Ukrainian invasion, but which will take years to reduce.

Berlin is not the only EU capital that is reluctant to seize the fossil fuel embargo in Russia.

New G7 sanctions against Russia should now “mainly affect the oligarchs” who “took advantage of Putin,” the finance minister said in an interview with ARD.

G7 countries announced in a statement on Friday their intention to impose “new harsh sanctions” on Moscow, “in response to Russian aggression” against Ukraine.

“Those who took advantage of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and stole the wealth of the Russian people, especially through corruption, cannot take advantage of their wealth in our Western democracies,” Christian Lindner insisted.

The embargo imposed on Russia

Moscow is already facing rigorous measures aimed in particular at isolating the country from the international financial system.

On Thursday, the United States and the United Kingdom blacklisted new oligarchs close to the Kremlin already targeted by the European Union.

One of the most tangible acts of sanctions against the Russian elite was the seizure on Thursday in the south of France of a huge yacht of the Russian oligarch Igor Sechin, the president of the Russian state oil company Rosneft.