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The head of the E.ON concern considers that Germany will need three years to replace the Russian gas

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Leonard Birnbaum, CEO of Germany’s largest energy concern E.ON, says it will take Germany three years to find alternative gas suppliers to reduce Russia’s energy dependence. He expressed this opinion on Monday night in the show ARD TV.

“According to our estimates, this will take three years,” Birnbaum said, answering the question of how quickly Germany can refuse Russian gas supplies. At the same time, he added that without gas imports from Russia, the German economy would suffer “huge damage, which should be avoided if possible”.

The CEO of E.ON pointed out that the refusal to give up Russian oil and coal could happen sooner. “With oil, that can happen in a year, with coal, maybe even faster,” Birnbaum said, adding that in the case of natural gas, it will take longer. Thus, he considers it inappropriate to stop the import of energy carriers from the Russian Federation.

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In addition, Birnbaum warned of the risk of shortages due to a lack of components in various industries if Russia’s energy supply were cut off. As an example, the director general of the German energy concern cited a possible shortage of components in the automotive industry.

On Monday, German Cabinet spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said the German government did not currently support a ban on Russia’s energy supply, as their immediate cessation would create serious problems for the country. The day before, according to him, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz presented the reasons for this decision. Hebeshtreit stressed that “it is primarily a matter of supply in Germany.” In addition, according to a representative of the German Cabinet, the authorities consider that such a boycott would have “significant economic consequences”, in particular, “a significant loss of jobs”.

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