Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been blasted by columnist Polly Toynbee for managing Germany’s growing reliance on Russian oil. Many nations, like Germany, have ceased importing Russian oil as a result of Western sanctions, but they lack the energy infrastructure to replace where they source their energy supply.
Ms Toynbee advocated for the West to have more renewable and dependable energy alternatives. During an interview with BBC News, Shaun Ley, presenter of BBC News, said: “This goes back to Angela Merkel just after Fukushima.”
Ms Toynbee added: “Yes. and she said, right no nuclear, which would be ok if it had been other sustainable things instead.
“But the idea that you substitute that with extra dependency on Russia, looked like a bad mistake.”
Since the beginning of the invasion, Angela Merkel has been blamed for her part in negotiating the NordStream 2 pipeline between Germany and Russia.
The gas pipeline has since been shelved, but her critics have questioned her ability to come up with other ways for Berlin to secure oil and gas without becoming too reliant on Russia.
Mr Ley then asked: “The Western countries have effectively said we’re going to ween ourselves off Russian energy.
“Presumably, there’s a risk there that there’s an incentive for Putin, why would he settle early, if we’re going to abandon his real cash cow anyway?”
Ms Toynbee replied: “Oh it’s a very self-defeating policy for him and for one thing, it’s quite difficult for him to technically turn it off.
“And the FT (Finacial Times) has been writing about this, that if he switches it off. It then becomes very expensive and very difficult to turn it back on again.
“But certainly Europe needs to learn the lesson and fast, that we’ve got to get off gas where ever it comes from.
“Where ever it comes from in the world, it’s mostly from an unpleasant government who will blackmail us in one form or another.
Ms Toynbee added: “It’s got to be sustainable energy I think probably the Germans made a mistake in deciding that they were going to go, no nuclear.”
Due to the gas situation, Germany issued an early warning alert earlier this week.
Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck, speaking on Germany’s decision to stop using Russian oil, said: “We must increase precautionary measures to be prepared for an escalation on the part of Russia.
“With the declaration of the early warning level, a crisis team has convened.”