Germany is accused of fuelling Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine

Germany is accused of fuelling Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine by opposing ban on Russian gas imports

  • Chancellor Olaf Scholz attracted criticism from senior UK and Ukraine officials 
  • His administration has rejected calls to ban imports of Russian energy
  • Emmanuel Macron also put pressure on Germany, saying more sanctions are required
  • But Germany, which relies heavily on Russia for energy, continued to oppose wider sanctions 

Germany was accused of ‘fuelling Putin’s war machine’ yesterday – after Berlin held out against a ban on importing Russian energy.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz attracted criticism from senior figures in both Ukraine and the UK after his administration rejected calls for the measure.

French President Emmanuel Macron also put pressure on Germany, saying Russian atrocities in the town of Bucha ‘require a new set of sanctions and very clear measures’. He added: ‘I’m in favour of having a sanctions package, especially on coal and oil, which we know are particularly painful. I want us to be able to act.’

But Germany, which relies heavily on Russia for energy, continued to oppose wider sanctions. German finance minister Christian Lindner yesterday rejected an EU embargo on imports of Russian gas despite global revulsion at the massacre of Ukrainian civilians by Vladimir Putin’s forces.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz attracted criticism from senior figures in both Ukraine and the UK after his administration rejected calls for the measure

Chancellor Olaf Scholz attracted criticism from senior figures in both Ukraine and the UK after his administration rejected calls for the measure

French President Emmanuel Macron also put pressure on Germany, saying Russian atrocities in the town of Bucha 'require a new set of sanctions and very clear measures'

French President Emmanuel Macron also put pressure on Germany, saying Russian atrocities in the town of Bucha ‘require a new set of sanctions and very clear measures’

Speaking ahead of EU talks in Brussels, Mr Lindner said: ‘We are dealing with a criminal war. It is clear we must end as quickly as possible all economic ties to Russia… but gas cannot be substituted in the short term. We would inflict more damage on ourselves than on them.’

German economy minister Robert Habeck also spoke out against an immediate ban. He told reporters that Berlin was ‘working every day to create the preconditions and the steps toward an embargo’ – and insisted that German action ‘harms Putin daily’.

The lack of action prompted an angry response from Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba, who called for a ban on Russian energy supplies and for Moscow to be totally ejected from the Swift payment system, which dominates international trade.

The lack of action prompted an angry response from Ukraine's foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba, who called for a ban on Russian energy supplies and for Moscow to be totally ejected from the Swift payment system, which dominates international trade

The lack of action prompted an angry response from Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba, who called for a ban on Russian energy supplies and for Moscow to be totally ejected from the Swift payment system, which dominates international trade

At a press conference in Poland, Mr Kuleba did not name Germany, but said: ‘The West continues to fuel the Russian war machine with payments for fossil fuels… with financial transactions conducted through Russian banks that have not been disconnected from Swift yet.’

Addressing foreign ministers who will attend Nato, EU, and G7 meetings this week, he added: ‘If you have doubts, reluctance, or arguments about the need to keep doing business with Russia, go to Bucha first and then talk to me.’

Boris Johnson will challenge Mr Scholz over sanctions during talks in London this week.

A Government source last night voiced frustration over German intransigence, which is blamed for holding up an EU-wide deal on sanctions.

Publicly, No 10 continued to stress the importance of Western unity, saying Britain would impose further sanctions ‘as much as possible in lockstep’ with allies.

source: dailymail.co.uk