China likes to 'play both sides' with Russia and US says expert
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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is continuously being funded by EU members states, with the biggest share of financial resources provided for Moscow by Germany. Most EU states are reliant on Russia for its energy and fuel supplies, but Germany paid more than €40 billion (£33.6bn) to Vladimir Putin alone in 2021.
In January, Berlin spent €2.6 billion (£2.1 bn) to Russia in gas, oil and coal orders.
That means Germany has been funding Russia’s economy and military spendings for up to £3.7 million per hour, making it the country economically contributing the most to Putin’s attack on Ukraine in Europe.
On Monday, German companies signed several agreements with firms in the United Arab Emirates to build up a comprehensive hydrogen value chain between the two countries, Germany’s Economy Ministry said.
The signing of the deals come during a visit by German Economy Minister Robert Habeck to the Gulf states to discuss long-term energy supplies.
Berlin is making efforts to reduce its reliance on Russian energy and increase pressure on President Putin over the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Germany’s Hydrogenious and Uniper, along with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Japan’s JERA will enter a joint demonstration project for hydrogen transport, the ministry said in a statement.
The Kremlin said on Monday Europe would be hit hard in the event of an embargo on Russian oil, striking the continent’s energy balance.
Some European Union foreign ministers are pushing for an oil embargo as part of a possible fifth round of sanctions against Russia, in an effort to punish Moscow over events in Ukraine.
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“Such an embargo would very seriously impact the global oil market, very badly impact energy balance on the European continent,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a daily conference call.
Diplomats have said a Russian chemical weapons attack in Ukraine, or a heavy bombardment of its capital Kyiv, could be a trigger for an energy embargo.
Russia says it targets military, not civilian infrastructure.
Moscow itself has warned that EU sanctions on Russian oil could prompt it to close a gas pipeline to Europe.
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For now, the 27-nation EU, which relies on Russia for 40 percent of its gas, with Germany among the most dependent of the bloc’s large economies, is divided on how to tackle the energy issue.
“Americans would remain as they are and would feel much better than Europeans (in the event of oil embargo). This would be hard for Europeans – such a decision would hit everyone,” Peskov said.
Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on February 24 in what it called a “special operation” to degrade its southern neighbour’s military capabilities and root out people it called dangerous nationalists.
Ukrainian forces have mounted stiff resistance and the West has imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia in an effort to force it to withdraw its forces.
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