Brussels wants to stop importing Russian oil this year, but continues to buy gas
All 27 member states of the European Union must agree, otherwise it won’t happen. But according to Committee Chairman von der Leyen, a solution suitable for all member states is being worked on.
Slovakia, a country that depends on Russian oil about 58 percent, has expressed its support for the oil embargo. However, the country wants a different date for getting rid of Russian oil and is proposing a three-year transition period. The Czech Republic also wants a longer transition period.
Hungary, which gets about 96 percent of its oil from Russia, has repeatedly said it does not want to support energy sanctions. The foreign minister said an exception should be made for the country.
Bulgaria also wants an exceptional position. The state fears that fuel prices will rise if the embargo is implemented.
Some sources within the European Commission told Reuters news agency on Monday that countries such as Slovakia and Hungary may be offered a longer transition period.
It won’t be easy
“Let’s be clear: It won’t be easy,” von der Leyen said of the planned import ban. Europe is largely dependent on Russia for its oil needs, despite the significant differences between the member states. But she says it is critical to impose a complete import ban in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The proposal was met with applause in the European Parliament, where the plan was presented. The head of the commission explained that if it is passed, it will significantly weaken the Russian economy. “With this step we are depriving the Russian economy of the opportunity to diversify and modernize. Putin wants to wipe Ukraine off the map, but it is clear that he will not succeed.”
There is no import ban on gas
The plan also says nothing about a potential Russian gas import ban. The European Union is still largely dependent on Moscow for this. In previous rounds of sanctions, the import of Russian coal had already been restricted.
Quickly scroll between these two images to see how much gas or oil EU member states buy from Russia each year:
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