Brussels prepares to hit Russia with ‘smart sanctions’ on oil imports

(EurActiv, 25 Apr 2022) The European Union is preparing “smart sanctions” against Russian oil imports, The Times reported on Monday (25 April), citing the European Commission’s executive vice-president, Valdis Dombrovskis.

We are working on a sixth sanctions package and one of the issues we are considering is some form of an oil embargo. When we are imposing sanctions, we need to do so in a way that maximises pressure on Russia while minimising collateral damage on ourselves,” Dombrovskis told The Times.

He said that precise details of the oil sanctions had not yet been agreed but could include a gradual phasing-out of Russian oil or imposing tariffs on exports beyond a certain price cap, the newspaper reported.

Russia is Europe’s biggest oil supplier, providing 26% of EU imported oil in 2020. Europe gets roughly a third of its gross available energy from oil and petroleum products, in sectors from transportation to chemicals production.

Ukraine and some EU states, including Poland and Lithuania, want a ban on Russian oil and gas, whereas Germany and Hungary are opposed to an immediate oil embargo.

“The best outcome for the Commission is the toughest possible sanctions. However, It makes no sense for us to propose something that will not get support,” said Věra Jourová, the vice-president of the European Commission in charge of justice.

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EurActiv, 25 Apr 2022: Brussels prepares to hit Russia with ‘smart sanctions’ on oil imports