We will make sure that we phase out Russian oil in an orderly fashion, in a way that allows us and our partners to secure alternative supply routes and minimizes the impact on global markets.European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, in a speech to the European Parliament. The proposal could be approved by the end of the week.
- Von der Leyen proposed that EU member nations phase out Russian crude oil imports within the next six months, and refined products by the end of 2022.
- The proposal requires an unanimous approval by the 27 EU nations before it goes into effect. In her speech, von der Leyen said, “Let us be clear: It will not be easy. Some member states are strongly dependent on Russian oil. But we simply have to work on it.”
- The proposal also includes a plan to target major Russian banks by removing them from the SWIFT payment system — which enables banks to quickly transfer money — and a ban on three major Russian state-owned broadcasters.
- Something to consider: This proposal does not include a ban on natural gas; the EU bloc gets about 40% of its natural gas from Russia. Luis Garicano, a Spanish member of the EU Parliament, said, “That’s great news that we are moving on the oil embargo. But as you know this is far short of what this parliament wants. We actually asked a month ago for a full embargo on gas and oil.”
Why It Matters: The EU currently imports about 25% of its oil from Russia, most of which is used for gas and diesel for vehicles. These new sanctions have the potential to seriously impact Russia’s financial state; oil and gas revenue accounted for 45% of their federal government budget in 2021.
EU leader calls for Russian oil ban in new set of sanctions (Associated Press)
EU proposes phasing out Russian oil imports by the end of the year (Washington Post)
by Jenna Lee,