France’s Le Maire calls for ban on Russian oil in ‘a few weeks’ – POLITICO

PARIS – French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire on Thursday called for a halt to Russian oil imports, but also said it was better to delay it to ensure all EU countries are on board.

“We, the French, [are] ready for an import ban not only on coal, which is on the table today, but also on Russian oil. Russia’s main energy income comes from oil,” Le Maire said said France Info Thursday. “The reality is that halting oil imports from Russia would hurt Russia the most.”

However, Le Maire was quick to note that it could take time to get an EU-wide consensus on this measure and that there would be little point in enforcing an oil ban at the national level.

“However, we have to convince the other member states that there is absolutely no point in doing this alone,” he said. “I prefer that we take a few weeks longer to end with a ban on Russian oil, but that we do it together in a coordinated way, rather than doing it in a scattered, less efficient way.”

Earlier this week, French President Emmanuel Macron also called for sanctions on coal and oil. Brussels has decided to focus on coal for now and not ban oil imports.

While countries like Germany are still resisting an oil ban, Poland and the Baltic states are demanding an uncompromising freeze on Russian energy imports and have already announced measures at the national level. France's Le Maire calls for ban on Russian oil in 'a few weeks' - POLITICO

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