AP

German leader focuses on energy, Ukraine in new year message

Dec 30, 2022, 1:00 AM | Updated: 3:10 pm

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrives for the last regular cabinet meeting of the German government...

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrives for the last regular cabinet meeting of the German government in 2022 at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Olaf Scholz is celebrating Germany’s progress in freeing itself from reliance on Russian gas, urging people to keep saving energy in the new year and vowing to keep up help for Ukraine.

Scholz’s televised new year message, the text of which was released by his office before its broadcast Saturday, focused squarely on the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and his government’s efforts to cushion the impact for people in Germany.

But, he added, “the history of 2022 is not purely one of war, suffering and worry.” Ukrainians are defending their homeland, “thanks in part to our help — and we will continue to support Ukraine,” he said. Germany has given military equipment and financial aid.

The European Union and NATO, Scholz added, are more united than they have been for a long time, “and we in Germany did not bow down when Russia turned off the gas this summer — because we refuse to be blackmailed.”

Russia, which used to account for more than half of the country’s natural gas supply, hasn’t delivered any gas to Germany since the end of August.

Germany embarked on an effort to store gas and diversify its supplies following the invasion of Ukraine, and started building liquefied natural gas terminals — the first of which was inaugurated two weeks ago. Others are set to follow in the coming months.

“With these efforts, we are making our country and Europe independent of Russian gas for the long term,” Scholz said. “And we are getting ourselves through this winter — also thanks, incidentally, to well-stocked gas storage facilities and to the joint effort we have made to save energy over recent months.”

“That will remain important in the months ahead,” he said.

Scholz also pointed to various packages the government has put together to dampen the effects of rising prices for energy and other things. Germany’s annual inflation rate currently stands at 10%.

The chancellor said this year’s story is one of “cohesion and strength — and, yes, one of confidence as well” and urged Germans to continue in the same vein in 2023.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

moore redmond washington...

Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Redmond couple challenging foreign income tax

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington after they previously challenged a $15,000 tax bill.

5 days ago

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

7 days ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

8 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

8 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

9 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

10 days ago

German leader focuses on energy, Ukraine in new year message