Energy import ban will hit Germany harder than Russia, unions warn Berlin

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President of the German Trade Union Confederation warns against embargo on imports of Russian oil and gas

Germany’s Trade Union Confederation (DGB) has raised deep concerns over the possible ban on imports of Russian oil and gas that is currently being discussed by the EU policy-makers as part of a new raft of sanctions against Moscow.

According to Reiner Hoffmann, the head of the alliance, the embargo is expected to hit the German economy much harder than Russia’s.

“I believe that stopping [energy] imports does not make sense at all,” Hoffman told German broadcaster ARD.

The official warned that “the economic consequences for Europe and Germany would be much more serious than for Russia,” highlighting that the ban “will not affect events in Ukraine.”

Moreover, the embargo on Russian energy supplies “will lead to a significant decline in the labor market” and trigger “the collapse of all supply chains,” Hoffmann outlined.

On Wednesday, government spokesman Wolfgang Buechner said that the German authorities oppose introducing an immediate embargo on Russian supplies of oil and gas, adding that Chancellor Olaf Scholz had repeatedly pointed out that the government is following a strategy to gradually reduce dependence on Russian energy supplies.

According to the forecast by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Germany will achieve complete independence from Russian gas by the summer of 2024, while Russian supplies of coal and oil are expected to be replaced this year. However, the country’s industry leaders have disputed these figures.

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