Europe 1 with AFP 09:47, March 30, 2022

The German Economy Minister announced on Wednesday that Germany would activate the first level of its emergency plan to guarantee the supply of natural gas in the face of the threat of a stoppage of Russian deliveries.

At this point, "the security of supply" of gas is guaranteed in Germany, he said.

Germany activated Wednesday the first level of its emergency plan to guarantee the supply of natural gas in the face of the threat of a stoppage of Russian deliveries, announced the Minister of the Economy.

"A crisis unit is now set up within the ministry" to oversee the situation as the G7 rejected the Russian request for payment in rubles, explained Robert Habeck during a press conference.

This emergency plan includes three levels of alert and at this stage, "the security of supply" of gas is guaranteed in Germany, he specified.

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Stopping deliveries would have "serious consequences"

The reserves are currently 25% full, said the minister, noting that stopping deliveries would have "serious consequences" but that Germany "will be able to cope with it".

"Gas and oil are currently arriving in accordance with orders" and "the measure taken today is a matter of prevention", detailed Robert Habeck.

It is only at the third level of alert, the highest, that the State should "intervene" in the market to "regulate" distribution and define the volumes assigned as a priority to each sector.

The Kremlin on Tuesday insisted on payment in rubles for Russian gas delivered to Europe, rejecting criticism from the G7 which had called the request unacceptable.

"Nobody is going to deliver gas for free. It's just impossible. And you can only pay for it in rubles," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

On Thursday, the Russian government, the Central Bank and the Russian gas giant Gazprom are due to present Vladimir Putin with a report on the establishment of the ruble payment system.

"We are not going to accept any violation of the delivery contracts", reiterated Robert Habeck on Wednesday.

Russian gas is crucial for the European Union, which has been seeking since the beginning of the Russian offensive in Ukraine to find the means to get rid of this dependence.

On Europe 1 Wednesday morning, the French Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire indicated that France was anticipating in particular the scenario of a Russian gas cut.

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