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The European Union is already working on the seventh package of sanctions against Russia as it continues to try to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.
The sanctions, according to a Bloomberg update, should be agreed upon over the next few weeks.
So far, the European Union has targeted Russia’s financial and energy sector most pointedly with the sanctions, cutting much of Russia’s banking system from the global SWIFT system and scheduling an oil and fuels embargo for the end of the year. Coal imports have also been targeted.
The EU has also banned Russian vessels from entering EU ports; Russian imports of wood, cement, and seafood; and EU investments in Russia’s energy industry.
However, the bloc remains highly reliant on Russian hydrocarbons, which has made European buyers stock up on both coal and oil ahead of the embargo. Gas remains Europe’s weak spot in its attempts to make Russia suffer for its invasion of Ukraine.
Because of its overwhelming dependence on cheap Russian gas, the European Union is currently scrambling to secure reliable alternatives as it seeks to reduce its intake of Russian gas.
LNG has emerged as the primary alternative despite the fact it is much costlier than pipeline gas. However, LNG supply is also tight globally, which has resulted in the redirection of cargos from Asia to Europe, pushing prices across markets higher and forcing less wealthy importers such as Pakistan to resort to blackouts because of insufficient LNG supply for power generation.
Sanctions, however, are affecting the European Union as well. Earlier this week, Reuters reported that the European Commission had prepared a document detailing an aid program for EU companies negatively affected by the anti-Russian sanctions, under which they could apply for up to half a million euros in financial support from the EU.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.