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RUSSIA

Coldest night yet grips chilled Germany

The cold snap that has put much of Europe in a deep freeze reached its chilliest point in Germany on Friday, with minus 27-degree temperatures making for the coldest night of the winter season.

Coldest night yet grips chilled Germany
Photo: DPA

DWD, the German Weather Service said the town of Oberstdorf in the Allgäu region claimed the cold record.

The German capital also saw its coldest night of the year, with temperatures coming in at minus 19 degrees overnight on the southeastern edge of the city, according to newspaper Die Welt

A DWD meteorologist said it was only two degrees warmer around Berlin’s Tegel Airport, and said temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees were in the forecast for the nights ahead.

“After that, the frost could tentatively start to ease,” she said, but not disappear altogether.

The wave of frosty weather that has rolled in from Siberia has also cut the flow of gas from Russia. Moscow has acknowledged the problem, citing a major increase in demand from the domestic market.

The European Union said some companies have seen supply fall by up to 30 percent.

Dozens have died amid the frosty temperatures in Ukraine and Romania. In Germany, a man from the Netherlands is still missing after breaking through the ice on a lake in North Rhine-Westphalia while skating.

A rescue team of divers was searching the area on Saturday. Police spokesman Bernd Klein said the ice was at most 10 centimetres thick when the man fell through.

DPA/DAPD/The Local/arp

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ENERGY

Germany raps US over ‘astronomical’ gas prices

Germany's economy minister on Wednesday accused countries including the US of charging too much for gas as Europe's biggest economy struggles to rebalance its energy mix without Russian supplies.

Germany raps US over 'astronomical' gas prices

“Some countries, even friendly ones, are achieving astronomical prices in some cases,”

Robert Habeck told the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung newspaper. “This naturally brings problems with it, which we have to talk about,” he said.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused a dramatic energy crisis in Germany, which previously relied on Moscow for 55 percent of gas deliveries.

Russia has been gradually squeezing supplies since invading Ukraine in what Berlin believes is retaliation for its support for Kyiv.

To fill the gap, Berlin is investing in more expensive liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Germany and other European countries have thus turned to the United States, which now provides 45 percent of European LNG imports — up from 28 percent in 2021.

“The US turned to us when oil prices shot up, and as a result national oil reserves were also tapped in Europe,” Habeck said. “I think such solidarity would also be good for curbing gas prices.”

Habeck also called on the EU to coordinate gas purchases to help bring prices down.

The bloc should “bundle its market power and orchestrate smart and synchronised purchasing behaviour among EU states so that individual EU countries do not outbid each other and drive up world market prices”, he said.

Germany last week announced a 200-billion-euro ($199-billion) fund to shield consumers from soaring energy prices.

However, the plan has been criticised by France and key members of the European Commission, who are calling for EU-wide solutions to the energy crunch.

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