Leonard Birnbaum, head of Germany’s largest energy company E.ON, is warning the authorities not to impose an embargo on Russian gas. He said that without gas imports from Russia, the FRG would not last the next two winters.
“Without Russian gas, we are unlikely to survive the next two winters, except perhaps due to the damage to our industry and economy. But then we would have no more steel or chemical industry, the consequences would be dramatic. So I can only warn against a gas embargo,” said Mr. Birnbaum.
Since March 16, E.ON has not been buying natural gas from Russian suppliers due to the military operation in Ukraine, but has not withdrawn from the Nord Stream project jointly with Russia. Leonard Birnbaum explained that it is not profitable for the company to leave the project.
German officials have repeatedly spoken out against the embargo on gas from Russia. Chancellor Olaf Scholz believes that it will lead to a serious economic crisis in Europe, but will not stop hostilities in Ukraine. However, on April 30, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said that Germany would no longer pay for gas supplies from Russia in rubles.