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Members of the European Union are expected to agree on an embargo of Russian crude oil imports as early as next week, according to officials, in a move that would lay to rest a point of contention among its members.
Such a measure has been discussed for weeks—with the United States adding pressure on the group to do its part to stop funding Russia with its payments for oil and gas supplies.
The EU will continue to discuss the matter over the weekend, according to the New York Times, with the European Commission set to draft the finalized proposal to submit it to EU ambassadors for approval. Those ambassadors are scheduled to meet on Wednesday of next week, with final approval set to be delivered by the end of the week, anonymous EU officials told the New York Times.
There is no indication of how inclusive or complete an embargo would be, but it’s clear that some type of embargo is on the horizon.
The EU gets a quarter of its crude oil from Russia. Analysts have suggested that if the EU instituted a full ban on crude oil, it would result in a significant financial hit and that Russia may be unable to find enough willing buyers to take the oil that normally heads to the EU. Such a financial hit could hamper Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ability to continue to fund the war in Ukraine.
There are longer-term implications as well. If Russia fails to find an outlet for all of its crude oil in the wake of an EU crude oil embargo, Russia could be forced to slash production—production that may be unable to come back online.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.