Time is running out for Russia, says German economy minister

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Tanks of pro-Russian troops drive along a street during the Ukraine-Russia conflict in the town of Popasna in Luhansk region, Ukraine May 26, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermoshenko

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BERLIN, June 2 (Reuters) – Germany must step up efforts to reduce its energy dependence on Russia, but Western sanctions in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine are still weighing heavily on the Russian war machine, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Thursday. .

“The Russian economy is collapsing,” Habeck told lawmakers, adding that Germany played its part here by cutting exports to Russia by 60% in March, with an even steeper fall expected in April.

Across all allied countries participating in the sanctions, exports to Russia fell 53% from previous months, while the drop among neutral or pro-Russian states was 45%, according to the minister.

“Putin always gets money but…time doesn’t work for Russia, it works against Russia,” he said.

As a result of the sanctions, Moscow lost access to items crucial to its ability to wage war, Habeck said, such as “aircraft security updates, with the result that planes will soon be nailed down.” on the ground”.

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Reporting by Rachel More; Editing by Madeline Chambers and Maria Sheahan

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