The European Union is holding a high-level dialogue meeting with OPEC on Monday, as the EU is looking at ways to step up sanctions against Russia, including by an oil embargo.
The meeting, being held in Vienna, is expected to discuss the potential of more supply from OPEC as the EU is considering alternative supply in case it decides to ban oil imports from Russia at some point.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, OPEC and the larger OPEC+ group, including Russia, have not commented on the war and have not found the need to boost output more than planned, saying that the high oil prices are the result of “geopolitical” events, rather than a case of very tight market fundamentals.
The EU, for its part, banned last week the imports of coal from Russia as of August 2022. Some top EU officials, as well as many EU members, including the Baltic states and Poland, have called for oil to be the next step in punishing Vladimir Putin for the war in Ukraine. However, Europe is split on an immediate oil embargo, with the biggest economy—Germany—not willing to go for it, for now, saying an oil ban would plunge Germany, and Europe, into a deep recession.
The EU ministers of foreign affairs are meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, and oil is expected to be one of the topics of discussion.
Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said that sanctions against Russia should include oil.
“We know that it’s very difficult for some member states and we have to keep a united position across the EU,” Coveney said, adding that the European Commission is working on a next package of sanctions that would include oil.
“The Commission are now working on ensuring that oil is part of the next sanctions package and we believe the sooner that can happen, the better,” the Irish foreign minister told reporters in Luxembourg today.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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