Russia’s attempt to blackmail Germany and the rest of Europe into giving up its support of Ukraine by cutting energy supplies has failed, German chancellor Olaf Scholz said on 24 February, the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of its western neighbour, in a statement reported by Clean Energy Wire. “Those who look at the past year will see that the Russian president has failed,” said Mr Scholz. Russian president Vladimir Putin had hoped to divide opponents of his plans to conquer Ukraine “but achieved the opposite,” Scholz said.
After one year of war … EU states stand together in the crisis and the Ukrainian people are more unified than ever before, the chancellor argued. He stressed that the German government had succeeded in weaning the country off Russian energy supplies at unprecedented speed, taking away most of the leverage the Russian government had over western Europe due to its energy rich resources. “We have enough gas and oil. Our economy is not in a deep recession. And we’ve taken in more than a million Ukrainian refugees.” Scholz said Germany would continue to stand by Ukraine’s side and support the country in upholding its sovereignty. “The sooner Russia’s president realises that he will not achieve his imperialist goal, the greater the chance of the war ending.” Scholz argued.
Russia’s war has dealt a heavy blow to Europe’s biggest economy, which was particularly dependent on Russian fossil fuels up to the eve of the invasion attempt. However, thanks to efforts to save energy and diversify supply, wholesale energy prices have retreated from their peaks. Fears of gas shortages and irreparable damage to the country’s industry and social unrest have largely abated.