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BERLIN (AP) — Germany activated the second phase of its three-stage contingency plan for natural gas supplies on Thursday, saying the country was facing a “crisis” and warning that storage targets for winter were at risk due to dwindling deliveries from Russia.

The government said the decision to raise the level to “alarm” followed cuts in Russian deliveries made since June 14 and the continued high market price of gas. The third and highest level is the “emergency” level.

He said that while gas storage facilities are currently filled to 58% capacity – more than this time last year – the target of reaching 90% by December will not be achievable without additional measures.

Economy Minister Robert Habeck said in a statement that “the situation is serious and winter will come”.

“The reduction in gas supply is an economic attack on us by (Russian President Vladimir) Putin,” he said. “We will defend ourselves against this. But our country is going to have to take a rocky road now.

“Even if we don’t feel it yet: we are in a gas crisis,” added Habeck.

The government said it informed its European partners of the decision in advance.


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