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The foreign ministers of the European Union member states are not expected to formally discuss an embargo on Russian oil at their meeting on Monday, a senior diplomat working for the meeting’s preparation told Reuters on Friday.
In earlier comments, Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said that a Russian oil embargo would be discussed on Monday at the Foreign Affairs Council Ministers meeting.
“Sooner or later – I hope sooner - it will happen,” Borrell said on Thursday.
On Friday, the European Union formally approved a ban on imports of coal and other solid fossil fuels from Russia as of August 2022 as part of the fifth round of EU sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. The new sanctions package comes after reports and footage emerged that Russian troops had committed war crimes while retreating from Ukrainian cities and towns. The latest package of sanctions includes “a prohibition to purchase, import or transfer coal and other solid fossil fuels into the EU if they originate in Russia or are exported from Russia, as from August 2022.”
Import bans were also extended to comprise vodka, liquor, and caviar, as well as cement, rubber products, and wood. The sanctions also include denying access to Russia-flagged vessels at EU ports, except for agricultural and food products, humanitarian aid, and energy.
According to the EU diplomat who spoke to Reuters on Friday, it will be the European Commission that has to come up with a proposal—and when to do so—for a Russian oil embargo.
Meanwhile, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) called this week for more sanctions against Russia, including some floating the idea of an oil and even gas embargo.
European Council President Charles Michel said more sanctions are needed in response to the Russian war and atrocities in Ukraine.
“Measures on oil and even gas will also be needed sooner or later,” Michel said at the European Parliament on Wednesday.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.