Germany activates natural gas emergency supply plan
03 April 2022 | 1:14 pm
The German government has activated its emergency plan for gas supplies, as fears rise that Russia could cut off the flow of gas to Europe. The early warning, announced by Economy Minister Robert Habeck, is the first of three stages in Berlin's emergency plan aimed at securing supplies. The move comes as Moscow insists it be paid in roubles for Russian gas. Also today, we report on how the sanctions on Russia are affecting the diamond trade in the Belgian city of Antwerp.
Gas prices have risen to record levels and gas storage facilities are far from full. With Germany dependant on Russia's gas taps, energy supplies are becoming a powerful political weapon to use against the West.
The United Nations estimates that half a million Ukrainians have fled the war in their homeland so far. Around 2,000 refugees have now arrived in Germany — and many more are expected.
Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said nationality would not play a role in Germany's decision to host refugees fleeing from Ukraine. More than a million people have fled Ukraine into neighboring European countries.
Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak has said Moscow could cut off the flow of natural gas through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which links the country to Germany, in retaliation for sanctions imposed on its economy over the invasion of Ukraine. This latest threat comes as the United States is considering banning purchases of Russian oil. Novak warned that such a move could push prices as high as $300 a barrel. In early trading on Tuesday, the international benchmark Brent crude was trading at around $125.
German ministers have revealed more about their plans to ease most of the regulations to contain COVID-19 later this month. Meanwhile, Austria has dropped its law making vaccination mandatory. Follow DW for more.
The NSU, Hanau, the Breitscheidplatz Christmas market — these names evoke memories of terrorist attacks in Germany's recent past. As leaders meet to commemorate the victims, some say more needs to be done to help them.
The German health minister called on the federal states to reevaluate the coronavirus rules before restrictions are lifted. In other news, a Chinese city locks down as COVID cases rise.
The coronavirus seven-day incidence rate in Germany has crossed 1,600 for the first time. Meanwhile, New Zealand is opening its doors to tourists after a long wait.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz made clear that NATO will not "intervene militarily" in Ukraine. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance's goal was to prevent the conflict from escalating.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz has pointed to declining hospitalization and death rates as evidence it's time for "a new phase of the pandemic." State leaders have accused him of making unilateral decisions.
The Bundestag lifted the requirement to wear a mask in most places, despite a record number of coronavirus infections. The move has been criticized by the opposition Christian Democatic Union.
The majority of Germans couldn't wait to get vaccinated against COVID-19. But a significant minority still refuses to get the jab. Vaccination skepticism isn't a new phenomenon. Who are the people who refuse vaccination and what are their motives?
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