No lights are on in apartment houses of a residential area in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, June 23, 2022. AP
The government said the decision to raise the level to ``alarm'' follows the cuts to Russian deliveries made since June 14 and the continued high market price for gas. The third and highest stage is the ``emergency'' level.
It said that while gas storage facilities are currently filled to 58% capacity, higher than at this time last year, the goal of reaching 90% by December won't be achievable without further measures.
Economy Minister Robert Habeck said in a statement that ``the situation is serious and winter will come.''
``The reduction in gas supplies is an economic attack on us by (Russian President Vladimir) Putin,'' he said. ``We will defend ourselves against this. But our country is going to have to go down a stony path now.''
``Even if we can't feel it yet: we are in a gas crisis,'' Habeck added.
The government said it had informed European partners of the move in advance.