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Germany clinches Qatar energy deal to reduce dependence on Russia

qatari emir sheikh tamim bin hamad al thani meets with german economy minister robert habeck in doha
Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani meets with German Economy Minister Robert Habeck in Doha, Qatar March 20, 2022. Amiri Diwan/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY

Germany and Qatar have reached a long-term energy partnership, a German official said on Sunday, as Europe’s biggest economy seeks to become less dependent on Russian energy sources.

Russia is the largest supplier of gas to Germany and German Economy Minister Robert Habeck has launched several initiatives to lessen Germany’s energy dependence on Russia since it invaded its neighbour Ukraine.

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani received Habeck on Sunday and the two discussed ways to enhance bilateral relations, particularly in the energy sector, the Emiri court said in a statement on Sunday.

A spokesperson for the German economics ministry in Berlin confirmed that a deal had been clinched.

“The companies that have come to Qatar with (Habeck) will now enter into contract negotiations with the Qatari side,” the spokesperson said.

In a statement, Qatar said that for years it had sought to supply Germany but discussions never led to concrete agreements.

Germany has recently announced plans to build two LNG terminals.

Qatar said that it agreed with Germany that “their respective commercial entities would re-engage and progress discussions on long term LNG supplies”.

Habeck also met Qatari Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi in Doha, where they discussed energy relations and cooperation between Qatar, one of the world’s top natural gas exporters, and Germany and ways to enhance them, according to a statement from Al-Kaabi.

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