Russia is now used to playing with the nerves of the Germans.

One day after the amount of the surcharge for all gas customers was announced in Berlin, the Russian energy company Gazprom warned its European customers of further price increases.

In the winter, gas prices could rise 60 percent to more than $4,000 per 1,000 cubic meters, the company said on Tuesday.

Both production and exports would become more difficult because of the sanctions imposed by the West, Moscow said.

Julia Loehr

Business correspondent in Berlin.

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In Germany, meanwhile, the debate continues as to who should be relieved by how much in view of the rising energy costs.

In principle, a reform of the housing allowance has been decided between the traffic light coalition partners.

People with low incomes or pensions can apply for this benefit.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) had already announced in July in the course of the rescue of the energy company Uniper that the group of beneficiaries and the support itself should be increased.

“People need to be safe in their homes in winter”

Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) named the housing benefit reform on Monday as one of three points on how citizens should be relieved of the gas levy.

The details of the housing benefit reform are currently being coordinated within the government.

Among other things, a new heating subsidy is under discussion, which should be significantly higher than the 270 euros decided in the spring and paid out in the summer for a housing benefit recipient, plus 70 euros for each additional person in the household.

There is talk of a possible doubling.

The housing allowance is praised across all parties as an instrument that fulfills the political claim of helping as “targeted” as possible better than almost any other.

At the same time, leading representatives of the government factions are making it clear that extending the housing benefit should not be enough.

"There will have to be further measures for the winter," says Andreas Audretsch, deputy leader of the Greens in the Bundestag.

“This includes a moratorium on gas and electricity cuts and layoffs.

People need to be safe in their homes in winter.”

Justice Minister Marco Buschmann of the FDP is responsible within the federal government for extending the protection against dismissal for tenants.

So far, he has kept a low profile when it comes to such demands.

Meanwhile, another idea came from the ranks of the Liberals as to how to react to the foreseeable high utility bills: "We can also imagine interest-free state loans for tenants who cannot pay their energy bills," says Daniel Föst, housing policy spokesman for the FDP.

"In this way we also support those who are not entitled to housing benefit."