After a major shift in stance by Germany yesterday, the EU was preparing sanctions on Russian oil sales. After it’s change in stance, Germany, Russia’s biggest energy customer, could deprive Russia of an enormous revenue stream in a matter of days
The European Commission is expected to implement an embargo on buying Russian oil, in a sixth package of sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Sources in Ukraine said that Russia’s energy exports to Europe, amounting to millions of euros every day, is funding the war effort by the Kremlin.
In a sudden shift in stance, Germany said on Monday that it was prepared to back an immediate EU embargo on Russian oil.
German Economy minister, Robert Habeck, said that Germany has reached a situation where it will be able to bear an oil embargo on Russia.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, had been under growing pressure to take a firmer stance against Russia, despite being it’s largest importer of oil.
German Chancellor backs EU decision
The Chancellor has now vowed that sanctions against Russia will not be lifted until Russia signs a peace deal with Ukraine, in a statement to German public television.
Weaning Europe off Russian oil is considered to be easier than reducing European dependence on Russian natural gas. Moscow had earlier demanded that European customers pay for gas in roubles, which the EU rejected. Last week, Moscow cut off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria.
At a meeting on Monday, EU ministers said that complying with Russia’s demand to pay for gas in rubles would be a direct breach of EU sanctions.
Ambassadors from European Union member states will meet on Wednesday to discuss the latest proposed sanctions against Russia.
After being forced to abandon an assault on Kyiv at the end of March, Russia launched a major offensive in eastern Ukraine targeting the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces, parts of which were already held by Russian-backed separatists before the invasion.
Russian troops are now trying to encircle a large Ukrainian force there, attacking from three directions with massive bombardment along the front.