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How German Companies Are Staring Down Putin’s Threat to Cut Off Gas

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In the weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine, German lawmakers cautiously proposed ways to cut their country’s ties to Russian natural gas. The heads of some of Germany’s leading industrial companies, long reliant on Russian gas, wanted no part of it.Martin Brudermüller, chief executive of the chemical maker BASF, one of Germany’s biggest corporations, warned in April that a cutoff of Russian energy “could send the German economy into its worst economic crisis since the end of World War II.”Now the price of gas has soared, recently hitting five times what it was a year ago, and Gazprom, the Russian energy monopoly, continues to keep Germany’s chief executives on high alert by periodically throttling energy flows. The next temporary shutdown starts on Wednesday, when, Gazprom said, it will shut down the Nord Stream 1 pipeline for three days for repairs …

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