Germany's move to cut tax on gas sales is designed to send a message to Russia about Berlin's determination not to capitulate in an energy war, while also signalling to financial markets that Germany's finances remain solid, its finance minister said.

"The first signal is to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin that we are not going to be deterred but that we have an all-in strategy to protect our country," Christian Lindner told the Bundestag.

"The other message is that behind the protective screen we are putting up around us the debt brake will continue to work: a clear message to the world's providers of capital that Germany remains solid," he added. (Reporting by Thomas Escritt, editing by Rachel More)