Czech PM Petr Fiala to Visit Berlin

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala will meet with German chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin today. The leaders will discuss a

Czech PM Petr Fiala to Visit Berlin

Czech PM Petr Fiala to Visit Berlin | Photo: The Globe and Mail

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala will meet with German chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin today.

The leaders will discuss a variety of issues regarding European security and will reaffirm their cooperation amidst Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. However, the main talking point, is the future of Europe’s energy trade routes ahead of the EU’s likely embargo of gas imports from Russia. The issue is a particular concern given that both Prague and Berlin are heavily dependent on Russian natural gas.

As the EU contemplates imposing an embargo on Russian oil, expect energy prices to continue increase on the continent in short-to medium-term. Despite its initial reluctance, Berlin is now in favor of banning Russian energy imports. This forces it to search for alternative gas suppliers—such as Azerbaijan and Qatar. With that said, it is highly unlikely for the EU to approve the embargo any time soon as several member states—namely Hungary— still oppose the proposed ban due to their reliance on Russian gas and their lukewarm  relationship with Kremlin. Instead, the EU will likely impose a periodic ban for an unknown duration. Instead, expect the EU to set a preliminary ban until late 2022 which will permit countries to stockpile on energy supplies.

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