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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz rejected calls to ban Russian oil and gas, saying energy imports from Russia are “essential” for Germany. “At the moment, Europe’s supply of energy for heat generation, mobility, power supply, and industry cannot be secured in any other way. It is therefore of essential importance for the provision of public services and the daily lives of our citizens,” he said in a statement. “That is why it is a conscious decision on our part to continue the activities of business enterprises in the area of energy supply with Russia,” he added. Europe has intentionally avoided sanctioning energy supplies from Russia, he said. However, he showed support for finding alternative sources of energy supplies in the long term and said Germany and other European countries have been working on finding alternatives to Russian energy imports. “This cannot be done overnight,” he stressed. European Union (EU) leaders are …