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BERLIN: German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Saturday that he will explore liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply on a trip to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, and aims to secure a hydrogen deal, making Germany less dependent on Russia.

Russia is the largest supplier of gas to Germany, according to data on the Economy Ministry’s website.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, Habeck has launched several initiatives to lessen Germany’s energy dependence on Russia, including large orders of non-Russian LNG, plans for a terminal to import LNG and slowing the nation’s exit from coal.

Habeck, ahead of the weekend trip, said “the goal … is to establish a hydrogen partnership in the medium term, that is, to flank it politically.”

Global LNG: Asian LNG prices stable, outlook bullish on European gas concerns

He will be accompanied by around 20 representatives from corporate Germany, many from the energy sector.

He also wants to discuss “short-term” LNG supply and to “give the companies that ensure the gas supply in Germany the political framework to become independent of Russian gas, topics that could not be higher on the political agenda”.

More broadly, the European Commission is also working on plans to phase out the EU’s dependency on Russian gas, oil and coal in five years.

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