Germany initiated the first step of an emergency energy plan on Wednesday to preempt a potential disruption or halt in gas supplies from Russia, according to Reuters.
Why it matters: The unprecedented move indicates that the European Union is concerned that President Vladimir Putin’s demands that Europe and the United States pay for gas exports in rubles could result in a Russian gas cut-off.
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Thought bubble, via Axios’ Ben Geman: There have long been concerns that Putin could deploy the “energy weapon,” but natural gas flows have thus far continued.
The big picture: German officials have criticized Putin’s demands as a breach of contract.
The first phase of Germany’s plan creates a crisis team of private sector officials, economics ministry officials and regulators to monitor imports and storage of gas and would allow regulators to ration gas if supplies fall short, according to Reuters.
Go deeper: Unpacking Biden’s European energy plan
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