Germany agrees gas deal with Qatar to help end dependency on Russia

(The Guardian, 20 Mar 2022) Long-term contract will not immediately stop flow of money to Russia, for which German ministers have been criticised.

Germany has agreed a contract with Qatar for the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) that will help the European country wean itself off its dependency on Russian energy.

But the contract is a long-term solution and will do little to slow the current flow of European money into Russian coffers, estimated to be worth $285m (£217m) a day for oil alone.

Germany’s economy minister, Robert Habeck, announced the deal after discussions in Doha, where he was accompanied by German business leaders. “It is great that I can say it was firmly agreed to enter into a long-term energy partnership – a cooperation,” Habeck said. “The companies that are now involved in this journey will enter into contract negotiations with the Qatari side.” He gave no detailed figures on planned imports from Qatar.

Habeck, a Green party leader in the German coalition government, has faced sharp criticism in recent weeks for refusing to accept a complete energy embargo on Russia, as sought by the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy. In a speech to the Bundestag last week, Zelenskiy accused Germany of having only three priorities: “economy, economy, economy”.

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The Guardian, 20 Mar 2022: Germany agrees gas deal with Qatar to help end dependency on Russia