BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany entered Phase 2 of its three-stage emergency gas plan on Thursday due to reduced supply from Russia and high prices but is not yet triggering a clause that lets utilities pass on soaring gas costs to customers, the Economy Ministry said.
The Phase 2 "alarm stage" kicks in when the government sees a high risk of long-term supply shortages of gas. Facing dwindling gas flows from main supplier Russia, Europe's top economy had been at Phase 1 of its emergency plan since end March.
"We must not fool ourselves: The cut in gas supplies is an economic attack on us by (Russian President Vladimir) Putin," Economy Minister Robert Habeck said in a statement.
Under the Phase 2 plan, Berlin will provide a credit line of 15 billion euros ($15.8 billion) to fill gas storage facilities. In addition, a gas auction model will be launched this summer to encourage industrial gas consumers to save gas.
($1 = 0.9515 euros)
(Reporting by Paul Carrel, Miranda Murray; Editing by Kirsti Knolle)