EU oil embargo ‘in days’ as Ukraine isolation drives Russia closer to China

(EurActiv, 24 May 2022) The European Union will likely agree an embargo on Russian oil imports “within days,” according to its biggest member Germany, as Moscow said it saw its economic ties growing with China after being isolated by the West over its invasion of Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told global business leaders in Davos on Monday that the world must increase sanctions against Russia to deter other countries from using “brute force” to achieve their aims.

Many of the EU’s 27 member states are heavily reliant on Russian energy, prompting criticism from Kyiv that the bloc has not moved quickly enough to halt supplies.

Hungary stuck to its demands on Monday for energy investment before it agrees to such an embargo, clashing with EU states pushing for swift approval. The EU has offered up to €2 billion to central and eastern nations lacking non-Russian supply.

“We will reach a breakthrough within days,” Germany’s Economy Minister Robert Habeck told broadcaster ZDF.

The European Commission and United States were working in parallel on a proposal to cap global oil prices, he said.

“It is obviously an unusual measure, but these are unusual times,” he said.

Russia’s three-month long invasion, the biggest attack on a European state since 1945, has seen over 6.5 million people flee abroad, turned entire cities into rubble, and prompted the unprecedented imposition of Western sanctions on Russia.

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EurActiv, 24 May 2022: EU oil embargo ‘in days’ as Ukraine isolation drives Russia closer to China