Dependence on gas supplies
BDI boss: Not the entire Russia policy was wrong
May 28, 2022 at 12:23 p.m
What responsibility does business bear for Germany’s Russia policy? The head of the industry association BDI points to a competitive advantage through cheap gas from Siberia. This made it dependent. However, that was acceptable at the time.
The president of the industry association BDI, Siegfried Russwurm, has resisted the blanket description of the entire Russia policy of the past decades as a mistake. “Of course, the German economy also bears responsibility,” Russwurm told the newspapers of the editorial network Germany (RND). “Because of its geographical location, Germany was accessible for cheap pipeline gas from Siberia. It would have been economically wrong not to use this competitive advantage.”
When it was pointed out that it would have been wise to forego this competitive advantage and that there had been repeated warnings of too much dependence on Russia, Russwurm told RND: “Exactly, we know that today, but from the point of view at the time it seemed reasonable .”
The head of the BDI justified his position with the words: “Nobody had in mind that a Russian president would completely abandon the civilizing minimum consensus of the international community,” said Russwurm. “That was a historical error, I’ll concede. That’s why not all of Russia’s policy over the past 20 years was a mistake, as many are now claiming.”
Germany must never again become as dependent on a country as it is on Russia, said Russwurm. “It’s part of being honest that we still wouldn’t be able to cope with a stop in Russian gas deliveries today – the economy and the federal government agree on that.” Companies would now have to diversify their procurement “much more and also open up new sales markets.” This is then “less cost-effective than focusing on a few large suppliers and a few large countries. But it prevents one-sided dependencies.”