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Energy minister: No alternative to Russia gas

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Energy minister: No alternative to Russia gas
Photo: DPA
12:32 CET+01:00
Germany has no other sensible source of gas and oil other than Russia, the country's energy minister said on Thursday. His statement came hours after Chancellor Angela Merkel said she foresaw an energy overhaul.

Speaking at a debate on Europe's reliance on Russian gas and oil, Germany’s economy and energy minister, Sigmar Gabriel, said that there was “no sensible alternative” from which to import these fuels, the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung reported.

Gabriel, who is also head of junior coalition partner the Social Democrats (SPD), disputed the idea that there were other countries from which Europe could easily get its gas and oil from.

And he warned against panicking that Moscow would cut off energy supplies.

“Even in the darkest points of the Cold War, Russia stuck to its [energy export] contracts,” Gabriel told the room.

Just hours before Thursday evening's debate, Chancellor Angela Merkel took a different approach to the situation, stating in a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper that she anticipated a drop in the amount of gas and oil Germany imports from Russia as a direct consequence of the Crimea crisis.

She admitted that Germany was highly dependent on Russia for energy, but added that it did not rely on Russia's gas and oil as much as eastern European countries.

While Gabriel said there were limited options outside of Russia, Merkel took a wider look at Germany's energy situation. "There will be a new look at energy policy as a whole," she said on Thursday.

Germany is gradually shifting over to green power, and is phasing out nuclear power. By 2030 it plans to have 50 percent of its power from renewable sources.

SEE ALSO: 'Germany should moot Russian gas ban'

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