The Europeans are preparing to inflict a new round of economic sanctions on Russia. European Union foreign ministers will discuss the details of these sanctions which could concern Russian gas and oil.
This will be the 6th salvo of European sanctions if they come into force. Their content is not yet known and the differences between the 27 are palpable.
“We have just imposed heavy sanctions on Russia and we are preparing for a sixth wave,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Friday during her visit to kyiv with the head of the diplomacy Josep Borrell.
The Foreign Ministers are due to meet in Luxembourg on Monday and the voices among the members are not unanimous, but all the countries must agree to pass the sanctions.
The head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell would like to come out in favor of an embargo on Russian oil and gas, but countries such as Germany, Italy, Austria and Hungary are very dependent on Russian gas.
Josep Borrell announced his intention to launch the discussion on an oil embargo on Monday, “but a formal proposal is not on the table”, admitted a senior European official on Friday.
“Unanimity is necessary for the adoption of sanctions. However, we can clearly see the dependencies vis-à-vis Russia in several Member States”, he underlined, adding that the objective will be to present proposals which have a chance of passing.
“We are not going to present something that will not pass. Proposals must be made at the appropriate time,” he said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who was visited by the first leader of the G7, Boris Johnson, continues to urge Europeans, even if his country is not part of the EU, to adopt severe sanctions against Russia and to stop buying oil and gas. He also demands that he be provided with even more heavy weapons the supply of heavy weapons.
Since the start of the war in Ukraine in late February, the Kremlin has made $27.3 billion from EU oil, gas and coal purchases, according to Velina Tchakarova, director of the Austrian Institute for Europe and the security policy (AIES).