German ministers warn against boycotting Russian oil

(EurActiv, 7 Mar 2022) Germany’s finance and foreign ministers cautioned Sunday (6 March) against banning Russian energy imports as the West searches for ways to tighten the screws on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

With his country fighting for its existence two weeks since the incursion, Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky has urged his Western allies to levy additional sanctions against Moscow, including boycotting its lucrative oil and gas sector.

Earlier Sunday, chief US diplomat Antony Blinken said the United States and Europe were “very actively discussing” targeting Russian fossil fuels as the war intensifies.

“We are now in very active discussions with our European partners about banning the import of Russian oil to our countries, while of course at the same time maintaining a steady global supply of oil,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told NBC talk show “Meet the Press.”

“The actions we’ve taken to date have already had a devastating impact on the Russian economy,” he added, referring to biting sanctions that have economically isolated Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin.

With Western nations mulling the prospect of a boycott, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba waded into the debate to strongly call for a ban on such imports, saying Russian oil “smells of Ukrainian blood.”

But in Germany, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the G7, foreign minister Annalena Baerbock said such a move would be pointless since it could not be sustained long term.

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EurActiv, 7 Mar 2022: German ministers warn against boycotting Russian oil