The year 2022 will see Western countries implementing “a very ambitious policy” of reducing dependence on energy from Russia, with Russian oil set to be phased out by the end of the year, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has announced.
In an interview with Indian Express ahead of his meeting with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Berlin, Scholz explained that “the attack on Ukraine by Russia is on the top of the agenda for all of Europe and beyond.” He also expressed confidence that there is “broad agreement” between Germany and India that Russia’s actions violate the “core principles of the UN Charter,” that “massacres against the civilian population are war crimes,” and that “those responsible must be held accountable.”
In response to what he called a “massive and unacceptable breach of international law,” Scholz explained that many Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia, “even if this necessarily implies economic costs” for themselves.
India is among a number of major economies that have continued to trade with Moscow since the launch of its military offensive in Ukraine. Last month, New Delhi hosted European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who sought to sway officials towards taking part in the sanctions and scaling back economic and military ties with Moscow. However, India has so far refused to condemn Russia’s actions.
“We are furthermore now implementing a very ambitious policy to reduce our dependency on the import of fossil fuels from Russia. We will stop the import of Russian coal this summer, we will phase out Russian oil [by] the end of the year, and will reduce gas imports from Russia severely,” the chancellor said.