Germany must prepare for Russia to suspend its gas deliveries to the country, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Thursday.
Speaking during a visit to Tokyo for talks with the Japanese leadership, Scholz said: "Whether and what decision the Russian government will make in this regard is speculation, but ... one has to prepare for it."
Scholz added that the German government had already started preparing for this eventuality before Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February.
Russia halted gas deliveries to Bulgaria and Poland on Wednesday citing the countries' failure to pay for the imports in roubles. Sofia and Warsaw claimed they had fulfilled their obligations under the relevant contracts.
Though it is working to reduce its dependence on Russian energy, the German government had ruled out an embargo in an effort to prevent a negative economic impact.