The European Union executive is drafting proposals for a possible EU oil embargo on Russia, the foreign ministers of Ireland, Lithuania and the Netherlands said on Monday, although there is still no agreement on a ban on Russian crude oil.
They are now working to ensure oil is part of the next package of sanctions,” Irish Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney said of the European Commission as he arrived in Luxembourg for a meeting with his EU counterparts.
His Dutch and Lithuanian counterparts also said the European Commission was looking at ways to target Russian oil, which accounts for about a quarter of the EU’s crude oil imports, in a bid to pressure Russia to stop shelling Ukrainian cities.
“We are looking at all the others (sanctions), including energy,” Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said.
The European Commission could not immediately be reached for comment.
Buoyed by what Ukraine describes as the senseless killings of civilians by Russian forces since the February 24 invasion of Moscow, the bloc last week approved a fifth round of sanctions against Russia that included an end to Russian coal imports.
Russia has denied targeting civilians in a so-called “special operation” to demilitarize and “denazify” its southern neighbor.
Any oil embargo depends both on the technical details of the scope and implementation time of such a step, as well as on the support of the 27 EU member states. Energy dependency varies widely within the bloc, with countries like Bulgaria almost entirely dependent on Russian oil. Hungary has said it cannot support an oil embargo.
Germany’s position as the largest economy in the EU will be crucial. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, on arrival in Luxembourg, called for a “coordinated plan to phase out completely” from Russia, but EU diplomats said Berlin does not actively support an immediate embargo.
The United States and Britain have banned Russian oil in hopes of cutting off a significant source of revenue for Moscow. The decision is more difficult for the European economy due to its dependency and could push up already high energy prices.
https://www.independent.ie/business/world/eu-executive-working-on-possible-russian-oil-embargo-coveney-says-41541160.html The EU executive is working on a possible Russian oil embargo, says Coveney