In view of reduced gas supplies from Russia, Minister of Economic Affairs Robert Habeck (Greens) has announced the next stage in the gas emergency plan.

The alert level is the second of three escalation levels of the gas contingency plan unveiled after the Russian attack on Ukraine.

The third and highest stage of the plan would allow the federal government to ration gas.

Habeck warned that gas volumes could still be procured on the market and stored: "The situation is serious and winter will come." The throttling of gas supplies is an "economic attack by Putin".

The Russian President's strategy is to stoke uncertainty, inflate prices and divide.

“We are in a gas crisis.

Gas is now a scarce commodity.

The prices are already high and we have to be prepared for further increases,” said Habeck.

The alert level follows the early warning level in place since March 30.

According to the gas emergency plan, the alarm level indicates a disruption in the gas supply or an exceptionally high demand for gas, which leads to a significant deterioration in the gas supply situation.

However, the market can handle this disruption or demand.

The Federal Ministry of Economics said that the security of supply was guaranteed, but the situation was tense.

“It will be a national effort”

The top priority is now to fill the gas storage tanks, said Habeck.

Alternative providers would be sought and renewable energies expanded.

"It will be a national effort." In addition, more gas must be saved.

"All consumers - both in industry, in public institutions and in private households - should reduce their gas consumption as much as possible so that we can get through the winter," warned the Economics Minister.

The so-called price adjustment mechanism, with which suppliers could pass on higher prices directly to their customers, has not yet been activated.

The mechanism could be necessary in certain situations to prevent a collapse in the energy supply, said Habeck.

“But it also has its downsides, so we are also working on alternative concepts.

It is important to keep the market going despite the high additional costs.”

Since the reduction in gas supplies from Russia through the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 1, the gas market has been even tighter than before.

If Russian gas supplies via the pipeline remain at the low level of 40 percent, a storage level of 90 percent by December can hardly be achieved without additional measures, according to the ministry.

And another burden is foreseeable: an upcoming maintenance of the pipeline is planned from July 11th, it could take about ten days.