As Russia’s strikes on Ukraine seem incessant, the EU is retaliating by joining other countries (notably the US) for the Russian oil embargo. The decision stems from a point of enfeebling Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. “We have to discuss how we can support Ukraine even further, politically, economically, with humanitarian aid, security-wise, everything is on the table. So we can ensure that we will do what we can to stop Putin and his aggression against Ukraine,” said Jeppe Kofod, Denmark’s Foreign Minister.
The move comes after The US, earlier this month, announced it was “targeting the main artery of Russia’s economy” by “banning all imports of Russian oil and gas and energy.”
In a summit of EU leaders to discuss Russia’s war on Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said they’re planning to lay down a proposal to phase out the EU’s dependency on Russian gas, oil and coal by 2027. The proposal is expected to be ready by mid-May.
Germany on the other end is Russia’s biggest energy customer which gives her a loathing stance and might end up distancing herself from joining the embargo. Although Germany is “working at full speed” to terminate its dependency on Russia, the move cannot be instantaneous since it will adversely affect citizens and the economy at large.
Both Russia and members of the EU bloc depend on each other which is why a sanction by either party would put a dent in the economy of the other. In 2021, for example, crude oil and petroleum product exports accounted for 37% of Russian export revenue, as published by Bruegel think tank. Nearly half of Russia’s crude oil exports go to EU countries. If the EU implements the ban without being backed by corresponding resources, not only would it affect the EU but also the global markets.
As part of the plan to cut off oil and gas dependency, Leyen said the Commission would bring forward a proposal requiring underground gas storage facilities to be 90% full by the beginning of October each year.