a European embargo on Russian oil “will take months”

“If Russia sells the oil rejected by the Europeans to other buyers, the sanction will be useless,” warns a European source.

The European Union is preparing to stop buying oil from Russia to sanction the war in Ukraine, but the measure is “complex» and will take «many months“Several European sources told AFP on Friday. “Taking action on oil requires undoing existing contracts, finding alternatives and avoiding their circumvention. It’s not going to happen overnight. It will take at least several months.explained a European official involved in the discussions.

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«The Commission is considering options“, he said. Among these, the transfer of payments to a blocked account. “Restricting demand will increase prices“Insisted several ministers and senior officials interviewed by AFP. “The United States is very sensitive to the price of oil“Said one of them.

«Furthermore, if Russia sells the oil rejected by the Europeans to other buyers, the sanction will be useless.another warned. Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Wednesday for outlets to be diversified to deliver Russia’s energy resources.to other regions of the world that really need it“. The Europeans are trying to avoid circumvention of their sanctions by China and India and have made them understand that it will be “difficult for the EU to accept partners that undermine sanctions“, specified a European diplomat.

Stop Russian coal purchases

The EU decided on April 8 to stop buying coal from Russia, close its ports to Russian ships and ban the export of many goods and technologies. “For the first time, Europe touched on the subject of energy, which was not easy. Oil and gas will continue“, assured one of the officials.

But you have to”keep unityamong the 27, he insisted. Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria buy their oil from Russia and it is needed”convince them to keep them on board“, he stressed. “We cannot end our addiction overnight.Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korcok warned.

New sanctions were discussed at the EU foreign ministers’ meeting on April 11. “The European Union spends hundreds of millions of euros to import oil from Russia, which undoubtedly helps to finance this war. We must put an end to it, even if it creates enormous challenges and problems.Irishman Simon Coveney said. “nothing is taboo“, replied the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell, considering that”oil is easier to replace».

Russia exports two-thirds of its oil to the EU. In 2021, it supplied 30% of the crude oil and 15% of the oil products purchased by the EU. “Russia’s oil import bill was four times that of gas, $80 billion versus $20 billion.», recalled Josep Borrell.

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