By: Adam Paquin
In the early days of February 1980 Germany would make a deal with the devil and sign a contract with Russia a deal that would prove to result in major repercussions down the road. This deal would look like a small negotiation for the supply of Russian oil into Germany. With Germany to supply the material such as pipelines and other industrial goods Russia would in turn supply Germany with crude oil for years to come. After warning signs from NATO Germany assured the rest of the world that they would remain far from reliant on Russia for oil and only receive no more than ten percent of their nations supply from the country. This ten percent would end up slowly rising over the coming years. This brings us to present day Germany where more than half of the countries supply of crude oil is imported from Russia which places them in a very dangerous place.
Not only simply because it is Russia which over the past several decades has been proven to be a very unstable country socially and economically. But through Germany’s reliance on Russian oil can prove to put them in a very unsettling position especially for the general public living in the country. This became even more of a problem beginning at the start of the year. With the current war in Ukraine, many other countries within NATO have been cutting off their supply of Russian oil and other resources that have been coming out of the country. But this may not be as easily settled with Germany and their situation, if they were to completely cut off their supply of oil this would create a lot of chaos and confusion in the country. Especially in the coming months leading up to this coming winter this would lead to many cold homes with rely on natural gas for survival. This puts Germany in a very unsettling place because as of right now they do not have the ability to just shut off their connection with Russia without disturbing many households throughout the country.
Germany over the past several years has become known for their anti-nuclear protocols and their use of natural gas since the Chernobyl catastrophe in 1986. As many other countries searched for other alternatives for clean renewable energy such as wind, solar or nuclear. This along with the chancellor of the free democrats in 2009 decided to begin what they called a phase out of nuclear power. This would begin the process of shutting down a large amount of the nuclear reactors in the country with remaining to be completely closed by 2022. Germany although doing other research into several forms of clean energy as well, appears to be reliant on a future of natural gas heating their homes and fueling their cars.
Which brings us back to why Germany is so dependent on oil from Russia, if they were to cut off their entire supply of oil from Russia as many other countries have done in the midst of the war on Ukraine. This would severely hurt the German economy and people more than it would have any actual effect on the Russian Economy. It would end up shutting down large corporations and factories which have a heavy dependence on natural gas and put several gigantic companies out of commission. Now in the recent months they have been working with United States and other NATO countries to secure energy partnerships. This has actually resulted in them lowering their dependence on Russian oil by as much as fifteen percent. Which shows that a massive amount of work has been in the works to aid in the worldwide ban on Russian products, but this is only a start. But many are hesitant in completely cutting off the supply chain with their neighboring country Russia as this has been a major part of their economy for the past fifty years.
So needless to say, with all the debates between positives of cutting off a massive country with is in the middle of self-provoked war on a smaller neighboring country. A country that has for the past year been creating catastrophe and chaos under the leadership of an insane dictator. While they may have been essentially keeping your country afloat for the last half century being the largest supply of power to your economy. It can certainly be a large decision and a very difficult one at that. But a decision that needs to be made and cannot simply be put on the back burner for this could potentially create a rather large problem down the road both politically and economically. Ones that may leave the citizens of the country into literal dark and cold times.
‘We were all wrong’: how Germany got hooked on Russian energy | Germany | The Guardian
How Germany Became so Dependent on Russian Natural Gas (businessinsider.com)
Germany’s Reliance on Russian Energy Forces a Nearly Impossible Choice (businessinsider.com)
Why is Germany so reliant on Russian gas? Investment Monitor
Germany is Dependent on Russian Gas, Oil and Coal: Here’s Why – The New York Times (nytimes.com)