The EU between divisions is working on new sanctions and embargoes – World

The European Union is working on the new package, the sixth, of sanctions against Russia against the invasion of Ukraine, with a gradual embargo on oil to be launched at the end of the year and, it is expected, new players on the ‘black list’, to starting with the second Russian bank, Sberbank. A Commission proposal should arrive tomorrow, after the individual meetings with the 27 states held over the weekend, to be submitted to the EU ambassadors as early as Wednesday. It will then be a question of understanding whether all the knots will be untied.

For now, Berlin’s clear stance must be recorded, with the Minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck, who, while speaking of a possible “heavy load”, albeit local, for the German economy has clarified that “Germany it is not against an oil embargo on Russia “. On the other hand, the Hungarians remain at the antipodes, and they clarified again today that “their position with respect to any embargo on oil and gas has not changed: we do not support them”, said the government spokesman, Zoltan Kovacs.

Meanwhile, Warsaw remains among the most bitter opponents of Putin’s policies, starting with the pressure to stop Moscow’s hydrocarbons: “Poland will ask for immediate sanctions on Russian gas and oil” and “we appeal to all other countries not to pay in rubles, “said Anna Moskwa, Minister of Environment and Climate.

The squaring of the circle should arrive with targeted derogations for the states most exposed to supplies from Moscow, first of all we are talking about Hungary and Slovakia, alongside the various actions already announced whose strategies will be implemented before the EU Council at the end of May.

While waiting for moves on Russian oil, in Brussels it was meanwhile the day of gas, with an extraordinary council of EU energy ministers convened by the French presidency after the unilateral stop of supplies to Bulgaria and Poland, due to the refusal to comply with the request for payments in rubles from Russia. At the end of the works, about three hours that according to various sources would have seen a relaxed confrontation between the energy policy makers of the 27, the EU Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson reiterated that still “the Commission has no information about countries or companies. private individuals “who are paying for Russian gas in rubles or” want to “.

The French Minister for Transition Barbara Pompili is even clearer: “All the Member States have said that sanctions must be implemented and contracts, which are in euros, must be respected”. There remains the unknown of new stops to Russian supplies after those to Poland and Bulgaria. For Simson it is clear that the Russians “are not reliable suppliers and all member states must have plans for a possible total interruption of supply”. “All the work we are doing is to be ready if the decision should be made” to stop Russian supplies, Pompili also said, but we cannot “think of replacing all Russian gas with other gas supplies”, in EU must “produce electricity”.

Undersecretary for Ecological Transition Vannia Gava reiterated the concern for energy price levels: “All necessary measures at European level to protect the most vulnerable consumers and the competitiveness of businesses, including the proposed price cap on gas, will have to be considered. from Italy “, he pointed out. Before the end of May, together with the presentation of the RePowerEu plan, new proposals from the Commission should arrive, in particular on the prices of the electricity market, also taking into account the report by Acer, the EU agency for cooperation between energy regulators, which essentially rejected the usefulness of a ‘price cap’. As for energy independence, Gava underlined, “Italy intends to become independent of gas imports from Russia, it can succeed by 2024 and has already taken actions to achieve this goal, both to diversify suppliers and to reduce the demand for gas”.

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The EU between divisions is working on new sanctions and embargoes – World

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