Will the EU ban Russian gas because of the war in Ukraine? 6th Skip Sanctions Embargo


War between Russia and Ukraine: The European Union has reached an agreement on a sixth package of sanctions at a summit.


EU leaders on Tuesday downplayed prospects of a ban on Russian gas in a further round of sanctions after they struggled to enforce a relaxed embargo on Moscow’s main oil exports.

The bloc of 27 countries voted at a summit on Monday to approve a sixth package of sanctions that will halt the majority of Russia’s oil, but released pipeline deliveries in a concession to stop Hungary.

Weeks of oil bickering have turned European unity in the face of the Kremlin’s war against Ukraine, and cutting major economies like Germany off Russian gas is a much more difficult question.

“I think the gas should be in the seventh package, but I’m also a realist, I don’t think it will be there,” Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said on the second day of the summit in Brussels.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer warned that “it was much easier to offset oil”.

“It is very different with gas. That is why the gas embargo will not be an issue in the next sanction package,” he argued.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said the bloc should “pause it for now” before considering another round of sanctions.

“For gas it’s also much more complicated. So this is an important step. Let’s stop that for now, let’s see what the impact is,” he said.

While the European Union is sticking to a gas ban, Russian state giant Gazprom has already started shutting down European countries that have refused to pay for their gas in rubles.

On Monday, the Netherlands became the last EU country to turn off the taps after Finland, Bulgaria and Poland saw their stocks cut.

Other EU member states have given in to the Kremlin’s demand to pay in rubles to secure a flow of supplies they believe are vital to their economies.

But the refusal to cut off the huge sums that go daily to fill the Kremlin’s coffers has fueled criticism that the bloc is helping fund Moscow’s war machine.

Instead of sanctions, EU leaders Tuesday discussed a massive investment package proposed by Brussels that should help Europe get rid of Russian gas well before the end of the decade.

“No one wants to buy energy from Russia, a barbaric country, a country that cannot be trusted in any way, has turned out to be not only an untrustworthy partner, but also a criminal state,” said Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

“We are discussing how we can quickly move away from Russian hydrocarbons such as coal or oil, but also, in the longer term, as has been emphasized by some Member States, notably Germany and Austria, in the longer term also from gas.”

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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