BERLIN, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Germany's Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) on Wednesday announced the first stage, or the early warning level, of the gas emergency plan, saying that it's for "precautionary purposes."
"Security of supply continues to be guaranteed," said Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck, stressing that there were "no supply bottlenecks currently."
A crisis team was activated to "analyze and assess the supply situation so that further measures can be taken to increase supply security, if necessary," Habeck added.
Last week, Russia announced that it would only accept payment for gas imports in rubles from "unfriendly countries." In response, the Group of Seven (G7) rejected payments in rubles, citing reasons of contractual compliance.
According to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), uncertainties in energy markets and a tightening supply of natural gas in February before the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflicts led to soaring energy prices at all stages of Germany's economy.
In February 2022, prices for energy produced in Germany were up by 68 percent year on year, while prices for imported energy even soared 129.5 percent. Consumers had to pay 22.5 percent more for household energy and motor fuels than in February last year, according to Destatis.
Last week, Germany's lower house of parliament Bundestag approved a law amendment to oblige all operators in the country to gradually fill their gas storage facilities in order to stabilize the country's storage levels, according to BMWK.