Europe reckon with its reliance on Russian oil as that country’s invasion of Ukraine enters its third month. Such is the concern in Germany that the ADAC (the Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club, or “General German Automobile Club”) has sent an open letter to its members encouraging them to drive less.
The ADAC “calls on club members to use less fuel and thereby reduce their reliance on crude oil imports,” he wrote in a letter, per DW. “Our country’s dependence on Russian energy imports has become very clear. It is therefore all the more important to reduce them quickly. Every individual can contribute. »
The letter was released the same day that Gazprom, Russia’s majority state-owned international energy company, announced it would stop supplying its products to Bulgaria and Poland. This has raised new concerns in Germany, which also depends on Russian oil.
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Weniger Kraftstoff verbrauchen und die Abhängigkeit von Rohöl-Importen senken helfen 💛🙏 Wir starten die Kampagne #spritsparenundhelfen. Yesterday den offenen Brief des #ADAC Präsidium lesen -> https://t.co/uT5sZryDFQ pic.twitter.com/N76pvQVllM
—ADAC (@ADAC) April 27, 2022
The European Union has called Russia’s actions an “instrument of blackmail” that shows the country’s “unreliability as a supplier”, according to the BBC. The Kremlin, however, said it was responding to “hostile measures” taken by Western nations.
Poland called the move a reaction to its sanctions against Russian individuals and companies. Many European countries and NATO members, among others, have implemented sanctions against Russia, in some cases seizing assets belonging to people closely linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Bulgaria depends on Gazprom for more than 90% of its gas supply and the country’s president has said “unilateral blackmail is not acceptable”. It has taken steps to find alternative sources but no restrictions on gas consumption are currently imposed on Bulgarians.
The ADAC, however, encourages its members in Germany to be proactive and slow down when driving or avoid driving where possible.
“We ask you to check whether and which car journeys you could do without,” the ADAC wrote. “If you have good access to public transport, you should use it more. Some routes can also be traveled by bike or on foot.
The German government, meanwhile, has previously said it wants to wean the country off Russian oil imports by the end of the year, in response to the conflict in Ukraine.