The remarks came on the day when President Biden made a commitment to help the European Union become free of Russian of energy, pledging to secure an extra 15 billion cubic meters of natural gas by the end of this year.
Speaking in Berlin at a news conference after presenting a progress report on German energy security, Mr. Habeck said the shift away from Russian gas was happening at an “insane pace.”
“Every supply contract that is terminated hurts Putin,” he said.
Russian natural gas, which Germany receives through fixed pipelines, will be the hardest to quit and require liquefied natural gas terminals and floating LNG storage tanks. The government is moving quickly to acquire both types of facilities. Germany currently imports 55 percent of its natural gas from Russia.
Germany gets about half its coal from Russia but lately has been buying more supplies from other countries. The need for Russian coal could be phased out by the fall, he said.
Mr. Habeck made the announcement a day after European leaders wrestled over further sanctions on Russia to penalize it for its invasion of Ukraine. While the United States and some Eastern European countries in NATO have been calling for an immediate boycott on Russian fuels, Germany and a number of smaller countries have insisted an energy boycott now would be too costly.
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