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EU discusses embargo on oil exports from Russia, but decision will not be made soon — NYT

The EU is discussing the possibility of a ban on oil exports from Russia

The EU is discussing the possibility of a ban on oil exports from Russia

European officials are drafting plans to impose an embargo on the supply of Russian oil products. This is the most contested measure to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, as it could lead to higher energy prices, according to an article published by The New York Times (NYT) on April 14.

Officials are discussing a phased ban on the import of Russian oil products, but in any case this measure will not be taken until the end of the second round of elections in France (to be held on April 24), so as not to hurt Emmanuel Macron’s chances of re-election.

Earlier this month, the European Union banned the export of Russian coal for the first time. But a four-month transition period has been set for winding down current orders. Perhaps the same phased ban will be imposed for oil.

The main difficulty in making such a decision is that it must be supported by all 27 EU countries. A number of them, especially Hungary, are stubbornly talking about their unwillingness to waive oil from the Russian Federation.

Germany persists as well, obtaining 34% of the oil it needs from Russia. Germany says that a key challenge will be not only to find alternative suppliers to make up for this, but also to secure enough ground transportation to get the oil to the two refineries, which are fed via pipelines from Russia.

"Going cold turkey on fossil fuels from Russia would cause a massive, instant disruption. You cannot turn modern industrial plants on and off like a light switch. The knock-on effects would be felt beyond Germany, the EU’s economic engine and 4th largest economy in the world," German Ambassador to the United States Emily Haber said.

However, the situation may change, the NYT author notes, if Russia launches a large-scale offensive in Donbas.

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