BERLIN (Reuters) – European Union member states’ support for a full embargo or punitive tariffs on Russian oil and gas imports is insufficient, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday. quoted by the German newspaper Die Welt.
“At the moment, we in the EU do not have a unified position on this issue,” Borrell told the newspaper.
Oil exports are the Kremlin’s main source of foreign currency and many EU members have called for an end to oil payments as they are effectively funding the war in Ukraine, which Russia calls a “special military operation”.
Some EU countries are pushing for a sixth round of sanctions against Russia and Brussels is preparing a full assessment of the impact of an oil ban as part of possible additional measures.
Russia is Europe’s biggest oil supplier, supplying just over a quarter of EU oil imports in 2020, according to data from the bloc’s statistics office, Eurostat.
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Borrell said the topic will be discussed at the next EU summit scheduled for the end of next month and he did not expect any decision on the matter before then.
“A final oil and gas embargo proposal is not yet on the table,” he said.
The European Commission is likely to make proposals for a sixth sanctions package to member states this week, Die Welt said, without citing sources.
All EU states are working to reduce their dependence on Russian oil and gas, Borrell said, adding that he believed the bloc would be able to reduce its dependence over time.
“At some point, this will happen and Russia will feel painfully that revenues from the oil and gas sector are being lost,” he added.
(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)
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