Germany and Qatar are negotiating a long-term energy partnership, government officials from both sides said Sunday, as Europe’s biggest economy seeks to become less dependent on Russian energy sources.

Germany said a partnership had been clinched, but Qatar stopped short of saying a deal had been finalized. 

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

Qatar said companies from both countries “would re-engage and progress discussions on long term LNG supplies,” according to a statement by QatarEnergy, the state-owned oil and gas firm.

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

“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. With no terminals currently, Germany cannot receive direct shipments of LNG from Qatar. 

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.

Reporting by Moataz Mohamed, Andrew Mills and Klaus Lauer; Writing by Shakeel Ahmad, Moataz Mohamed, Tom Sims and Andrew Mills; Editing by David Clarke, Frances Kerry and Hugh Lawson

Source: gCaptain