EU differs on complete ban of energy imports from Russia

On Monday, a report by German newspaper Die Welt cited the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell as saying, “there is insufficient support from European Union member states for a complete embargo or punitive tariff on Russian oil and gas imports”.

“At the moment, we in the EU do not have a unified position on this question,” said Borrell.

Energy exports from Russia are its main source of foreign currency. Many EU countries have called for an end to oil payments saying it effectively finances the war in Ukraine.

While some EU countries are pushing for a sixth sanctions package on Russia, Brussels is preparing a full impact assessment of an oil ban as part of possible further measures.

Data from the EU’s statistics office Eurostat shows, Russia is Europe’s biggest oil supplier, providing around one fourth of the entire oil requirement of Europe in 2020.

The potential ban on Russian energy exports to Europe is set to be discussed at the next EU summit scheduled for next month; Borrell said, he does not expect any decision to be taken on the matter before that time.

“A final proposal for an embargo on oil and gas is not yet on the table,” said Borrell.

It is very likely that the EU Commission will make proposals for a 6th round of sanctions against Russia. “At some point it will happen and then Russia will feel painfully that the revenues from the oil and gas business are being lost,” said Borrell.

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