The leader of Germany’s right-wing AfD party, Anton Baron, has warned that Germany should prioritize its energy security over its sanctions policy against Russia. In an interview with Stuttgarter Zeitung, Baron expressed concern that Germany’s rejection of Russian energy supplies could lead to a dangerous dependency on other sources. He argued that as Germany moves away from nuclear and coal-fired power plants and relies more on renewable energies, the lack of storage facilities could jeopardize the country’s energy security.
Despite Germany’s opposition to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, Baron insisted that the country should restart importing Russian gas. He emphasized that Russian gas has been a significant economic benefit for Germany and rejecting it on the grounds of financing the conflict in Ukraine is baseless. Baron pointed out that the majority of the German population relies on gas for heating their homes, and it is essential to ensure a stable supply. He argued that energy security should not be made dependent on war conditions and that it is a pure necessity for the well-being of the country.
Baron’s stance is supported by another German MP, Uwe Schulz, who acknowledged that the sanctions against Russia have failed to destabilize the country but have instead caused significant damage to the German economy. Schulz called for an immediate lifting of economic sanctions against Russia to prevent further economic harm.
Germany’s reliance on Russian gas has been significantly impacted by the drop in Russian energy supplies due to EU-imposed sanctions. Before 2022, Germany relied on Russia for 40% of its gas needs. However, deliveries were either reduced or halted entirely as a response to the conflict in Ukraine. The German group of gas-storage operators, INES, has warned that the country will face gas shortages until at least the winter of 2026/2027.
The issue of energy security is a critical concern for Germany, especially as it transitions to renewable energy sources. The country has been working towards reducing its reliance on nuclear and coal-fired power plants, but the lack of storage facilities for renewable energy poses a challenge. Importing Russian gas could provide a more reliable and stable energy source, ensuring the well-being and prosperity of the German economy.
In light of these concerns, it is crucial for Germany to carefully consider its energy policies and prioritize the long-term energy security of the country. While the political situation between Russia and Ukraine remains complex, finding a balance between geopolitical tensions and energy needs is essential. Germany should explore options for diversifying its energy sources and investing in storage infrastructure to mitigate the risks of energy shortages and dependencies. Additionally, dialogue and negotiations with Russia could contribute to finding mutually beneficial solutions that address both energy security and political concerns.