Germany has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It has increased its defence budget and sent weapons to the Ukrainian military. It has launched a barrage of sanctions against Russia and some of its billionaires.
This week, in Hamburg, German authorities impounded the superyacht owned by the family of Alisher Usmanov, the Russian oligarch industrialist closely linked to President Vladimir Putin.
Yet Germany’s role as the biggest European Union buyer of Russian oil and natural gas continues largely unhindered, effectively making it the EU’s No. 1 financier of Mr. Putin’s nasty war and slaughterhouse for civilians.
Germany’s reliance on Russian energy explains why the coalition government, led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, has resisted cutting off Russian oil and gas; he knows that doing so would plunge the EU’s biggest economy into a debilitating recession – and turn off the lights and potentially his political career too.