Two top German ministers have stated that Germany may be willing to support a European Union embargo on Russian oil imports.
The remarks came as EU officials prepared to reveal the new set of penalties this week, which might include a request for a ban by the end of the year.
It’s the latest hint that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has modified his cautious approach to weaning the country off Russian energy, even if it comes at a cost.
The EU may circumvent resistance to a ban from Hungary and Slovakia, who rely on Russian oil more than Germany, by providing the two exemptions.
Economy Minister Robert Habeck stated that Germany would support an EU-wide ban, whether it was immediate or at the end of the year.
“Germany is not opposed to a Russian oil embargo. Of course, it is a hard burden to carry, but we are willing to do so “Mr. Habeck told reporters in Brussels before meeting with his EU counterparts.
The German economy, according to Finance Minister Christian Lindner of the pro-business Free Democrats, could withstand an instant ban.
“With coal and oil, it is now conceivable to exclude Russian imports,” Lindner told WELT.
“It is hardly impossible that fuel costs may rise.”
EU imposes more oil sanctions
It comes as two EU officials indicated over the weekend that the EU is considering an embargo on Russian oil by the end of the year as part of a sixth package of sanctions on Russia.
Exemptions from the sanctions might be granted to nations such as Hungary and Slovakia, which rely substantially on Russian crude oil.
EU authorities have also cautioned that anyone who complies with Moscow’s requests to pay gas bills in roubles will be in violation of current sanctions.
If the current plan includes a ban on purchasing Russian oil, Moscow will lose a big cash source.
Russia contributes 40% of the EU’s gas and 26% of its oil imports.
‘There will be price increases.
Despite reservations from some of the EU’s 27 members, support for an oil embargo from Europe’s largest economy indicates that opposition to such a plan is receding.
Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the end of February, Germany reduced its reliance on Russian oil from 35% to 12%.
Germany is now seeking to find alternate fuel supplies, notably for Russian oil, which is delivered through pipeline to a refinery in Schwedt, which serves east German districts as well as the Berlin metropolitan area.
According to Mr. Habeck of the Green Party, there is “still no answer” on how to replace this.
“We can’t promise that supplies will be available indefinitely,” he continued.
“There will undoubtedly be price increases and possibly outages. However, this does not imply that we will enter an oil crisis.”
Mr. Habeck stated that “having weeks or months to undertake all the technical preparations” before to a total ban would be beneficial.
‘Tokenistic’ advertising is prohibited in the United Kingdom.
Greenpeace has called the UK’s embargo on Russian-owned or controlled ships “tokenistic,” citing the arrival of eight tankers carrying £220 million in oil imports since the invasion began.
Russia contributes 18% of the UK’s diesel, which is mostly utilised in automobiles and large transport vehicles, as well as agriculture and fishing equipment.
The United Kingdom has promised to phase out Russian oil by the end of the year in an effort to deprive Moscow of “a significant source of cash.”
Greenpeace claimed the end-of-year restriction is too late, citing an analysis of how much money may reach Moscow before the prohibition takes effect.
Russia has asked that oil payments be made in roubles in an effort to prop up its faltering currency, which has been heavily battered by sanctions.