The full ban would be part of an expanded package of sanctions against Moscow
© Getty Images / Alexander Sharganov
EU ministers are set discuss a ban on Russian oil as part of the fifth package of sanctions, in an effort to force Moscow to abandon its military operation in Ukraine, Reuters reported on Monday.
“It’s unavoidable we start talking about the energy sector, and we can definitely talk about oil because it is the biggest revenue to Russia’s budget,” Reuters quotes Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis as having said. The new sanctions will also reportedly add more names of Russian individuals to EU blacklists.
EU foreign and defense ministers are expected to debate the matter on Monday, ahead of the arrival of US President Joe Biden in Brussels on Thursday for talks with NATO’s 30 allies, the EU, and the Group of Seven (G7) including Japan.
Last week the EU banned its member-states’ companies from investing in the Russian energy sector but fell short of banning oil and gas imports from the country. The EU gets roughly 40% of its natural gas from Russia, and more than half of the country’s oil exports are destined for Europe.
Reuters reports that Baltic countries including Lithuania are pushing for an oil embargo as the next logical step in putting pressure on Moscow, while Germany, the largest EU buyer of Russian crude, is urging caution because energy prices in Europe are already skyrocketing.