(Bloomberg) — Germany and Europe are prepared to weather the fallout should Russia decide to halt gas deliveries altogether, the country’s chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a statement Saturday.
Germany has prepared “for Russia to largely cut off gas supplies because of the war against Ukraine,” Scholz said, adding his country has set up terminals on the north German coast to import liquid gas.
Europe’s largest economy is at the center of the continent’s energy crunch as Russian President Vladimir Putin slashes supplies in retaliation for sanctions related to the war in Ukraine. Concerns have been mounting that Germany could face a wave of bankruptcies in the fallout from the crisis.
“We saved gas. We are once again using the production capabilities of coal-fired power plants. At the beginning of next year we will have the opportunity to use the remaining southern German nuclear power plants if that is necessary,” the chancellor said.
His statements come after a widely criticized decision of his economic minister Robert Habeck to keep two of the country’s nuclear plants on backup reserve.
That plan was dealt a blow when the operator of the plants addressed Habeck in a letter saying such “is technically not doable and therefore not suitable as a means to secure the supply share of these plants.”