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The Editors

Germany Should Stop Buying Russian Gas

Halting imports would impose costs on industry and consumers, but smart planning could make the burden manageable.

Switch it off.

Switch it off.

Photographer: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

The European Union is striving to tighten sanctions by halting purchases of Russian oil. Getting to consensus on this — necessary for joint EU action — hasn’t been easy. But now that Germany has withdrawn its earlier opposition, the prospects for more effective restrictions have improved.

Germany’s position is crucial — because of its influence within the EU, the size of its economy, and its disproportionately heavy dependence on Russian energy. Its change of heart on oil is welcome, but its efforts can and should go further. In particular, it needs a plan to shut down imports of Russian gas.