Russian oil embargo could be part of next EU sanctions package, say ministers

(EurActiv, 11 Apr 2022) The European Union’s executive is drafting proposals for an EU oil embargo on Russia, the foreign ministers of Ireland, Lithuania and the Netherlands said on Monday (11 April), although there is still no agreement to ban Russian crude.

“They are now working on ensuring that oil is part of the next sanctions package,” said Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney about the European Commission as he arrived for a meeting with his EU counterparts in Luxembourg.

“The European Union is spending hundreds of millions of euros on importing oil from Russia that is certainly contributing to financing this war. We need to cut off that financing … the sooner that can happen, the better,” Coveney added.

His Dutch and Lithuanian counterparts also said they were open to looking at ways of targeting Russian oil, which makes up about a quarter of the EU’s crude imports, as a means to pressure Russia to halt the shelling of Ukrainian cities.

“We are looking at all other [sanctions], including energy,” said Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra.

It is a position echoed by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who has said an EU oil embargo must happen “sooner or later”.

Last week, the European Parliament also called for a ban on oil, as well as coal, gas and nuclear fuel, although the decision is not binding.

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EurActiv, 11 Apr 2022: Russian oil embargo could be part of next EU sanctions package, say ministers