Germany blocked a ban on imports of Russian crude oil on the table by EU policymakers on Wednesday. German government sources say so.
“It is still too early to impose sanctions on crude oil and natural gas. Their economic and social consequences would be too severe, ”said the German Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Robert Habeck comments to news agencies.
Germany is also strongly opposed to a ban on natural gas imports. The resistance has been so strong that sanctions on natural gas have not yet come up for discussion among EU decision-makers at all.
Director of the German Institute for Economic Research Marcel Fratzscher The Financial Times estimates that the impact of sanctions on crude oil and natural gas on the German economy would be more severe than the corona pandemic.
“The biggest concern is the competitiveness of German industry, which could be permanently damaged,” he says.
According to forecasts by five German research institutes, energy sanctions would push Germany into recession next year. In addition, at least 400,000 Germans would be left unemployed directly as a result of the sanctions. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has repeatedly warned that this would also lead to a recession in the eurozone as a whole.
Think tank Atlantic Council researcher Eddie Fishman Twitter suggests a solution for the payment of oil and gas bills to escrow accounts, from which the funds would not be available to Russia until it withdraws completely from Ukraine.
According to Corriere della Sera, Italy’s largest newspaper, this is one of the options that the German government has been discussing for weeks. However, no decisions have been taken so far.