In a statement German Economy Minister Robert Habeck expressed concerns over the European Union’s unity on Russia, saying he is seeing signs that they are “starting to crumble”.
Habeck made the comments ahead of a summit to discuss an oil embargo against Russia.
EU leaders are scheduled to meet on Monday and Tuesday to discuss new sanctions against Russia, which could include an oil embargo, as well as a program to speed up the ending of dependence on fossil fuels, including on Russian gas.
“After Russia’s attack on Ukraine, we saw what can happen when Europe stands united. With a view to the summit tomorrow, let’s hope it continues like this. But it is already starting to crumble and crumble again,” said Habeck.
Last week, European countries scrambled to reach a deal to embargo seaborne deliveries of Russian oil while allowing deliveries by pipeline, marking a compromise to win over Hungary and unblock new sanctions against Moscow.
Habeck called for unity among EU member states so that they speak with one voice at the summit rather than abstain from voting due to differences of opinion.
“Europe is still a huge economic area with incredible economic power. And when it stands united, it can use that power,” said Habeck at the opening of the German Hannover Messe trade fair.