European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has threatened Russia with an oil embargo. Sanctions in the form of a ban on coal imports from Russia proposed by the Commission “will not be our last sanctions,” von der Leyen told the European Parliament. “Now we have to look at oil and the revenues Russia gets from fossil fuels,” the European Commission president said.
Austria, Hungary and Germany oppose a gas embargo from Russia for now
European Council President Charles Michel supports von der Leyen’s proposal: “I think that sooner or later there will be a need for measures for oil and even gas.” The EU imports about 45 percent of the coal it needs from Russia. The same goes for gas.
Whether the gas embargo actually goes ahead depends on EU member states. They must unanimously approve the sanctions. So far Austria, Hungary and Germany do not agree. Economy Minister Robert Habeck has only backed a proposal to ban Russian coal imports.
The President of Ukraine has criticized the attitude of some top politicians and business leaders
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenski (44) does not hide his indignation. “I cannot stand indecision after all we have been through and what Russia has done to us,” he rebuked the EU. Zelenski criticized the attitude of some top politicians and business leaders who apparently consider war and war crimes a lesser evil than financial losses.
For the Ukrainian president, one thing is certain: the “Russian war machine” can no longer be supported by money from energy exports.
This is what the fifth package of EU sanctions contains:
▶ In the new sanctions package, the EU also wants to ban imports of timber, cement, rubber, chemicals and luxury food products such as caviar and spirits such as vodka (the combined value of which the EC estimates at around five billion euros a year).
▶ In addition, Russian trucks and ships should no longer be allowed into the EU. There are also plans to ban exports from the EU to Russia of selected categories of products, especially technological ones, such as advanced semiconductors and quantum computers (the total value of exports to be subject to sanctions is about €10 billion per year).
▶ The Commission also wants to ban all transactions with VTB Bank and three other banks that have already been cut off from the international Swift payment system, Brussels reports.
▶ In addition, more Russians are to be sanctioned. They include oligarchs, military officials and politicians.