EU Considers Energy Sanctions against Russia
The European Union has vowed that a new wave of severe sanctions would follow against Russia in a matter of days, including potential sanctions against Russia’s oil, gas, or coal exports.
The decision voiced on Monday followed the killing of unarmed civilians by Russian forces while retreating from Ukrainian towns.
“Haunting images of large numbers of civilian deaths and casualties, as well as destruction of civilian infrastructures show the true face of the brutal war of aggression Russia is waging against Ukraine and its people.
The massacres in the town of Bucha and other Ukrainian towns will be inscribed in the list of atrocities committed on European soil,” the EU said in a statement on Monday.
“The EU will continue to firmly support Ukraine and will advance, as a matter of urgency, work on further sanctions against Russia. President Putin must stop this war immediately and unconditionally,” the EU said.
Europe – which collectively depends on Russian natural gas and oil for around one-third and one-fourth of its demand, respectively – has refrained from targeting directly Russian energy exports fearing that sanctions or an embargo could lead to a deep recession in the major European economies, including the biggest one, Germany.
Germany has so far been one of the staunchest opponents to an energy embargo on Russia, but after photos of Russian atrocities in Bucha and other Ukrainian towns emerged, the mood appears to be shifting even in Berlin.
The EU should discuss a ban on the import of Russian natural gas, Germany’s defense minister Christine Lambrecht was quoted as saying on Sunday.
“There has to be a response. Such crimes must not remain unanswered,” Lambrecht said.
According to Wolfgang Buechner, a spokesman for the German government, it is early to talk about which sectors the new sanctions would target, Bloomberg quoted the spokesman as saying on Monday.
France’s President Emmanuel Macron told a local radio: “I am in favor of a round of sanctions, particularly on coal and oil, which we know are particularly harmful.”
France will coordinate with EU partners, especially Germany, about which steps to take next, Macron added.