EU Mulls Other Energy Sanctions for Russia

Foreign ministers of the European Union disagreed on how to sanction Russia’s lucrative energy sector over its invasion of Ukraine, with some arguing that the region was too dependent on Russian energy.

EU foreign ministers gathered in Brussels on Monday to discuss a new round of sanctions for Russia, following the recent bombardment of Mariupol port in Ukraine, which EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called “a massive war crime”.

The Kremlin’s continued attack on Ukraine has been prompting more calls to ban Russian oil and coal, on top of other hefty punishments already imposed including crippling the Russian financial system.

“Why should Europe give Putin more time to earn more money from oil and gas? More time to use European ports? More time to use unsanctioned Russian banks in Europe? Time to pull the plug,” Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said on Twitter.

But Germany and the Netherlands insisted that such an embargo would backfire at the region since it is heavily dependent on Russian imports for oil and gas.

“Germany is importing a lot (of Russian oil), but there are also other member states who can’t stop the oil imports from one day to the other,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told reporters, adding that the bloc should instead work on reducing its reliance on Russian energy.

Borrell told a conference that no concrete decisions were made during the meeting, although the EU will “continue isolating Russia”.

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