German natural gas import costs rose by 164% in the first seven months of 2022 from a year earlier, even though imports were down by 25.5%, official monthly data showed on Wednesday. The July statistics from Germany’s foreign trade office BAFA are the fifth to reflect the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24, and Western sanctions against what the Kremlin calls a “special military operation.” Europe’s biggest economy was more reliant than many others in Europe on Russian gas, mostly supplied via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline that Russia halted, blaming Western sanctions while European politicians say Russia is weaponising energy. Pipeline gas from Norway, the Netherlands, Britain and Denmark as well as providers of liquefied natural […]