Russian gas supplies ensured German growth, Merkel adviser says

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Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s economic adviser was adamant that his country wasn’t in the wrong by working with Russian President Vladimir Putin to secure massive gas supplies.

“It helped to deliver us strong growth rates that paid for things we otherwise wouldn’t have had, for a period of 10-15 years, things which would otherwise not have been possible,” Lars-Hendrik Röller said in an interview with the Financial Times.

Merkel, Germany’s chancellor from 2005 to 2021, had little choice but to bet big on Russian gas after deciding to phase out nuclear energy, according to Röller, who was Merkel’s chief economic aide for her last 11 years in power. “You can argue whether that was the right thing to do, but it was the consensus in society at the time,” he said.

“If we’d known then what we know now, we would of course have acted differently,” Röller added.

While Merkel was long considered the Western leader of her time who knew Putin best, her policies have been criticized as too soft on an expansionist Putin.