The German government Thursday warned that a decrease in the supply of gas from Russia had prompted the economy minister to trigger the “alert level” of the nation’s emergency plan to safeguard the steady stream of gas.

Economy minister Robert Habeck told reporters Phase 2 of Germany’s three-stage emergency gas plan had been deployed as tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine flared.

"We are in a gas crisis," Habeck said. "From now on, gas is a commodity in short supply. The prices are already high and we have to reckon with further hikes."

Despite gas storage tanks being 58% fuller than last year, Habeck said that the Federal Network Agency had warned the country could face empty deposits by the winter after Russian suppliers capped gas supplies via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline by 60% last week, citing technical issues.