Germany Gets Ready For Gas Rationing

Emergency plan in case the supply from Russia is interrupted

Germany is preparing for a potential disruption of natural gas supply from Russia and activated an emergency plan on Wednesday, ahead of the Thursday deadline Vladimir Putin has ordered for gas-for-ruble payments.

Germany triggered an emergency plan in case the supply from Russia is interrupted. The plan could see rationing of gas supply. Other EU member states, including Greece and the Netherlands, have also placed their systems and stakeholders on high alert. Italy and Latvia also issued warnings of potential disruptions. Putin has set a March 31 deadline for the government, Gazprom, and the central bank of Russia to make the arrangements for payments in rubles from the so-called “hostile” countries.

The Russian President—whose list of “hostile” states includes the United States, all EU member states, Switzerland, Canada, Norway, South Korea, Japan, and many others—ordered last week the central bank to develop a system for payments in rubles within a week. The EU and G7 rejected the Russian gas-for-rubles idea, saying that changing the currency of the payments would be a breach of contract and that Europe would not be blackmailed into buying gas with rubles. Yet, the emergency plan in Europe’s biggest economy, and warnings in other European markets, signal that the EU is preparing for a worst-case scenario of disrupted gas supply from Russia.

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