Germany seals energy deal with Qatar in bid to cut reliance on Russia

Published March 21, 2022
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck (left) shakes hands with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, in Doha on Sunday.—AP
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck (left) shakes hands with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, in Doha on Sunday.—AP

BERLIN: Germany has agreed a long-term energy partnership with Qatar as it looks to reduce its dependence on Russian gas, a spokeswoman for the economy ministry said on Sunday.

Minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck secured the deal on a visit to Doha as part of efforts to diversify Germany’s energy supply, according to his ministry.

The next step will be for the companies involved to “enter into the concrete contract negotiations”, the spokeswoman said.

Habeck had held talks in Doha with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the emir of Qatar, one of the world’s three biggest exporters of liquified natural gas (LNG).

European states are increasingly counting on LNG as a means of weaning themselves off Russian gas in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ahead of his trip, which also includes a visit to the United Arab Emirates, Habeck told a radio network that Germany had major concerns over securing supplies for next winter.

“If we do not obtain more gas next winter and if deliveries from Russia were to be cut, we would not have enough gas to heat all our houses and keep all our industry going,” he warned.

Berlin has come in for criticism over its opposition to an immediate embargo being imposed on Russian energy supplies as a means of choking off a major source of Moscow’s foreign earnings.

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2022

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