BERLIN (AP) — Germany activated the second phase of its three-stage emergency plan for natural gas supplies on Thursday, saying the country faces a “crisis” and warning that winter storage targets are at risk due to to the decrease in deliveries from Russia.
The government said the decision to raise the level to “alarm” follows cuts in Russian deliveries since June 14 and the continued high market price of gas. The third and highest stage is the “emergency” level.
He said that while gas storage facilities are currently 58% full, more than this time last year, the goal of reaching 90% by December cannot be achieved without additional measures.
Economy Minister Robert Habeck said in a statement that “the situation is serious and winter will come.”
“The reduction in gas supply is an economic attack on us by (Russian President Vladimir) Putin,” he said. “We will defend ourselves against this. But our country will have to go down a rocky path now.”
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“Even if we can’t feel it yet: We are in a gas crisis,” Habeck added.
The government said it had informed European partners of the move in advance.
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