Borrell points to the embargo on Russian oil but avoids setting deadlines

The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, today pointed to an embargo on Russian oil as the next sanction in retaliation for the war in Ukraine, which is entering a new phase with the escalation of the conflict in Donbas. “It is important to start with oil, which represents a large bill and is easy to replace”, he stated after the meeting of foreign ministers that has served to launch this debate.

“At the moment we have not come to close a binding collective method, but each one does it on their own and they have plans to end that dependency”, explained Borrell, highlighting the commitment of the European partners to take steps in this direction . The head of European diplomacy explained after the meeting that “all” the Member States have become aware of the “risk” involved in dependence of Russian supply and that an effort is needed to address this weakness.

Most of the European foreign ministers present has advocated a “maximalistic approach” towards Russia, including the cessation of oil and gas purchases and the need to “maintain consensus on sanctions” and protect “unity within the European Union”.

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The five sanctions packages so far adopted by the EU were decided unanimously by the 27 members of the bloc, but Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, resists measures that go beyond what has already been approved. “We know that it is very difficult for some member states,” said Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney. His German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock, meanwhile, has defended the idea of ​​a consultation to facilitate the adoption of these sanctions.

On the other hand, the Austrian Federal Chancellor, Karl Nehammer, today held a face-to-face “very direct, frank and harsh” in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “I addressed the serious war crimes committed in Bucha (near kyiv) and elsewhere, and stressed that those responsible must be held accountable,” the Austrian conservative leader said in a statement. The Austrian Federal Chancellor insisted on the need for humanitarian corridors to bring clean water and food to besieged cities in Ukraine, and to evacuate women, children and the wounded.

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