Germany Triggers Gas Alarm Stage, Accuses Russia of 'Economic Attack'

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Germany triggered the "alarm stage" of its emergency gas plan on Thursday in response to falling Russian supplies but stopped short of allowing utilities to pass on soaring energy costs to customers in Europe's largest economy, Reuters reported. The measure is the latest escalation in a standoff between Europe and Moscow since the Russian invasion of Ukraine that has exposed the bloc's dependence on Russian gas supplies and sparked a frantic search for alternative energy sources. The step is a largely symbolic signal to companies and households but marks a major shift for Germany, which cultivated strong energy ties with Moscow stretching back to the Cold War. Lower gas flows sparked warnings this week that Germany could fall into recession if Russian supplies halted altogether. A survey on Thursday showed the economy losing momentum in the second quarter. "We must not fool ourselves: The cut in gas supplies is an economic attack on us by (Russian President Vladimir) Putin," Economy Minister Robert Habeck said in a statement. Read more.