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Chancellor refuses to go one step further: Baerbock calls Putin the ban on energy imports a “gift” – Politics

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Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has again spoken out against freezing Russia’s energy imports, despite Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

“If we had an import ban ending this war tomorrow, then we would do this,” the Green politician said Thursday night after talks with Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti in Pristina. If he talks about import bans in this area, he must also say how he wants to implement them.

If all energy imports stopped overnight, “that would mean we would no longer have electricity and heat in a few weeks,” Baerbock justified his position. “What is the greatest gift for the Russian president?” he asked rhetorically.

“How many days would we be able to maintain that people can’t drive to work anymore, that we don’t have electricity in kindergartens anymore, that we can’t really keep hospitals running anymore.” Baerbock added: “That is exactly the destabilization that the Russian president would only wish for.”

[Alle aktuellen Nachrichten zum russischen Angriff auf die Ukraine bekommen Sie mit der Tagesspiegel-App live auf ihr Handy. Hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen.]

“That’s why we have to keep a cool head when it comes to these questions in these tough times, when you’re getting your heart broken,” Baerbock continued. That means doing everything possible for energy efficiency as quickly as possible and ensuring a massive reduction in fossil fuel imports from Russia.

Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, had told the German Press Agency that given the high number of war casualties among the civilian population, the German government’s rejection of the import ban was “morally unacceptable”.

The federal government rejects an import ban because Germany is too reliant on energy from Russia and could threaten economic upheaval. However, former federal president Joachim Gauck said on ARD: “We can also freeze for freedom.” (dpa)

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