Mr. Brudermüller, BASF is one of the largest buyers and consumers of energy in Germany.

Can we justify continuing to finance Putin's war with our oil and gas imports from Russia?

Maya Brankovic

Responsible editor for economy and "value" of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper.

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Marcus Theurer

Editor in the economy of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper.

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The terrible news and pictures from Ukraine get under my skin too.

I hope that the sanctions will work and that the war will end as soon as possible.

Nevertheless, it is a fact that Russian gas supplies have so far been the basis for our industry's competitiveness.

Now we have to replace Russian gas at high pressure.

We must be aware that, for example, liquid gas deliveries from the USA will lead to significantly higher energy prices and cannot be implemented at the push of a button - a challenge for the competitiveness of German and European industry.

Is an immediate abandonment of Russian natural gas possible?

It's not enough that we all turn down the heating by 2 degrees now.

Russia covers 55 percent of German natural gas consumption.

If they disappeared overnight, many things would collapse here, we would have high levels of unemployment, and many companies would go bankrupt.

This would lead to irreversible damage.

To put it bluntly: This could bring the German economy into its worst crisis since the end of the Second World War and destroy our prosperity.

For many small and medium-sized companies in particular, it could mean the end.

We can't risk that!

How soon can we get off Russian gas?

If we hurry, we can do it in four to five years.

And what if, for example, Putin's demand for payment in rubles leads to an immediate stop in gas supplies?

A delivery stop for a short time would perhaps open the eyes of many - on both sides.

It would make clear the magnitude of the consequences.

But if we don't get any more Russian gas for a long time, then we really have a problem here in Germany.

At BASF, we would have to scale back or completely shut down production at our largest site in Ludwigshafen if the supply fell significantly and permanently below 50 percent of our maximum natural gas requirement.

Minister Habeck has already activated the early warning level of the gas emergency plan.

A group of well-known economists has described a rapid boycott as manageable.

Let me be absolutely clear: the greatest spokesmen are those who bear no responsibility at this point.

When you are responsible for many people, it is different.

We also manufacture products for the pharmaceutical industry and other vital sectors here in Ludwigshafen.

It's all much more complex than some models sketch it out.

If we now let Putin have his way and shy away from an energy boycott, won't the economic damage be even greater in the end because he goes on and attacks even more countries?

It's not that black and white.

It is completely unclear whether a boycott would really end the war.

I'll ask you again: Do we want to destroy our entire economy with our eyes wide open?

What we have built up over decades?

I believe such an experiment would be irresponsible.

And if citizens knew the real consequences of an energy boycott, the majority would oppose it.

The Germans underestimate the consequences?