Energy dominates German imports from Russia

Energy dominates German imports from Russia
Photo: DPA
Energy accounts for 70 percent of German imports from Russia, official data showed on Wednesday as Berlin got set to welcome Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on his first European trip since taking office.

In 2007, Russian oil and gas imports cost Germany around €20 billion ($31 billion), the national statistics office Destastis said, making up the vast majority of total imports which had a value of €28.8 billion.

German exports meanwhile were slightly lower at €28.2 billion, comprised of mainly machine tools, power equipment and chemical products.

Exports to Russia grew by 20.6 percent last year compared with the figure for 2006, and trade between the two powerhouses has continued to expand this year.

In the first quarter of 2008, German imports rose by 29.9 percent on an annual basis owing to the sharp increase in oil prices, while exports gained 25.4 percent.

Dependency on Russian energy supplies has fuelled widespread debate in Germany, in addition to the increasing level of Russian financial investment in Europe’s biggest economy.