Germany has reacted to reduced gas flows from Russia and escalated its warning to the "alert level" under its emergency gas plan.
This morning, Germany's Economy Minister and Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck said that Germany was in a gas crisis and gas has become a scarce commodity. Prices are high and we must be prepared for further increases, he said, adding that gas can still be procured on the market and can be stored.
The warning comes after Russia reduced its gas flows through the North Stream 1 pipeline, citing maintenance issues linked to sanctions. The alert level follows the early warning level that had been in effect since 30 March. According to the Gas Emergency Plan, the alert level indicates a disruption in gas supply or an exceptionally high demand for gas that leads to a significant deterioration of the gas supply situation. However, the market can cope with this disruption or demand. The German Federal Ministry of Economics said that security of supply was guaranteed, but that the situation was tense.
Germany is the largest net importer of Russian fossil gas in Europe, followed by Italy. Germany is the first EU country to escalate the warnings to the "alert level,” similar measures are reportedly being considered in Italy.