Russia: Portillo explains Germany’s fears over gas supply
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Germany has so far failed to join in calls from the United States and NATO on Vladimir Putin to deescalate military presence near Russia’s border with Ukraine. US President Joe Biden has warned Putin his country and other western allies are prepared to help out Kiev but German leader Olaf Scholz has refused to openly back him. Michael Portillo explained Berlin is likely to be “so frightened” about the potential consequences the country could face in terms of rising gas prices if it were to speak out against Putin.
Speaking to GB News, the former Tory MP said: “If there is going to be an invasion of Ukraine, or even continued uncertainty – which I think is more likely – it is actually going to cost you and me.
“That £53 billion is money you and I have got invested in our pension schemes, for example. And there probably will be a further energy crisis.
“This is why Germany is not on board with the rest of NATO and the United States.
“Because Germany is so frightened about its gas supplies.”
JUST IN: Macron slammed for ‘posturing over Brexit’ as he blows top over UK’s ambitions in Europe
He continued: “Well, if the gas supplies are cut, it probably doesn’t probably affect us directly in terms of supply but it surely affects us in terms of price.
“And we already know gas prices are going up massively and if there’s a further gas shortage, the prices are going to go up even further.”
Germany last year faced criticism after former Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed ahead with a deal strengthening her country’s relationship with Moscow through the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
Asked about potential sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is yet to win regulatory approval, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said sanctioning something that is not yet operative was not a credible threat.
Germany: Several injured in shooting at Heidelberg University
Another potential sanction would be cutting Russia off from the SWIFT global messaging system, but German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said wielding the “hardest stick” may not always be the best way to deal with such a situation.
Brussels has been largely sidelined by direct Russia-US talks, but the foreign ministers began talks with Secretary of State Antony Blinken remotely on Monday.
The EU, along with the United States, imposed economic sanctions on Moscow targeting its energy, banking, and defence sectors after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014.
For now, the EU does not plan to withdraw diplomats’ families from Ukraine, its foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said after Washington announced such a move.
EU on brink as UK urged to sign ‘energy alliance’ to thwart Putin [SPOTLIGHT]
End of the world warning as Elon Musk warns of extinction [INSIGHT]
Covid breakthrough as ‘Achilles’ heel’ of virus found [REVEAL]
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz continued to urge his European and NATO partners for “prudence” in the handling of Russia.
Mr Scholz told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper on Sunday: “Prudence dictates choosing measures that will have the greatest effect on those who violate the jointly agreed principles.
“At the same time, we have to consider the consequences this will have for us.”
According to a pre-release of the interview, Mr Scholz also countered any impression that the United States and Europe could not agree on a joint set of sanctions.
He added: “In the circle of allies, we agree on possible measures.
“It’s good. We have to be able to act in case of an emergency.”
Source: Read Full Article