German Economy Minister and Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck on Wednesday triggered the early warning level for gas supplies as Moscow continues to demand to be paid in rubles.

This move is the first of three warning levels, and it entails the creation of a crisis team in his office to deal with stability of the country’s gas supply. Germany’s gas storage is currently filled to about 25% capacity, Habeck said.

“There are currently no supply shortages,” he explained. “Nevertheless, we must increase precautionary measures in order to be prepared in the event of an escalation on the part of Russia.”  

Habeck called on businesses and individuals to try and reduce their energy consumption as much as possible as Germany tries to wean itself off dependence on Russian gas.

The three-stage emergency plan details ways to conserve gas, secure supplies and make sure households have adequate amounts of fuel.

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