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The EU’s Last Effort for Sanctions on Russia’s Oil Agreement

by Carl Steward
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The EU’s Last Effort for Sanctions on Russia’s Oil Agreement

Top European Union diplomats gathered on Monday; this was their last-ditch effort to reach an agreement on Russian oil import penalties before their leaders meet later in the day; they hope to prevent a show of division over the bloc’s reaction to the Ukraine conflict.

The 27 leaders should agree, according to a fresh draft of the summit conclusions. Their next wave of sanctions should encompass oil, with a temporary exemption for petroleum carried by pipeline; a compromise that ambassadors failed to agree on, on Sunday. According to the letter, they reached an agreement on seaborne oil sanctions.

Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic are to be sanctioned at some stage.

What to Expect?

According to the document, the leader’s meeting in Brussels in the afternoon would not finalize the details of that temporary exemption. Instead, they will encourage ambassadors and ministers to create a solution; this solution should ensure fair competition between those who continue to get Russian oil and those who no longer receive it. One EU official described it as “limited progress”. According to them, it has too many specifics for a comprehensive agreement during the two-day meeting; leaders will be left with few tangible outcomes. The EU leaders will pledge their continuous support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s aggression; it will debate how to deal with the conflict’s consequences; including rising oil costs and the threat of a food shortage.

The talks, however, will be overshadowed by their month-long effort to agree on the sixth set of sanctions against Russia, which Hungary has stymied. “We witnessed what might happen when Europe stands united after Russia’s aggression on Ukraine,” German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Sunday. “Let’s hope this trend continues as we approach the summit tomorrow. However, it is now crumbling and crumbling again.”

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