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Germany takes step closer to gas rationing

BBC News logo BBC News 4 days ago
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Germany has taken a step closer to gas rationing after a drop in supplies from Russia.

The country has triggered the "alarm" stage of an emergency gas plan to deal with shortages, Germany's economy ministry said.

It is the latest part of a standoff between the European Union and Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

German economy minister Robert Habeck said Russia was using gas "as a weapon" in response to EU sanctions.

Germany has now moved to the second stage of its three-part emergency plan, which is triggered when there is disruption or very high demand for gas.

However, the country stopped short of letting utilities pass on soaring costs to customers, although that is theoretically possible.

Twelve European Union countries have now been affected by cuts to gas supply from Russia, EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans said on Thursday.

Russia cut flows through its Nord Stream 1 pipeline to 40% of capacity last week citing problems with equipment, affecting countries including Germany.

It had already cut gas supplies to Poland, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland over their refusal to comply with a new payment scheme.

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