EU Parliament votes on total Russian energy ban — Analysis
On Thursday, The European Parliament adopted a resolution demanding “an immediate full embargo on Russian imports of oil, coal, nuclear fuel and gas.” The bloc’s legislature also demanded Russia be completely cut off from the SWIFT banking network and booted from international organizations.
This resolution was passed with 513 votes, 22 abstentions and 19 other people voting. The total embargo on Russian energy that it demands goes well beyond the EU’s existing plan to reduce its reliance on Russian gas by two thirds before the end of the year, and to phase out Russian fossil fuels before 2030.
This complete embargo might have serious implications for Europe. Russia supplies around 40% of the EU’s imported gas and 27% of its oil. Some countries are even more heavily reliant on Russian energy, with more than half of Germany’s gas and a third of its oil coming from Russia. While German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has expressed reticence at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demand for paying for Russian gas with rubles, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has warned that cutting off this vital energy source would grind the economy of Germany – Europe’s industrial powerhouse – to a halt.
For some gas- and oil-dependent countries, the parliament’s vote is likely to be ignored. Viktor Orban (Prime Minister in Hungary) has declared that he will buy Russian gas again and will be paying for it using rubles. Orban’s country counts on Russia to deliver all of its gas, and Orban himself has declared an embargo “out of the question.”
Others have warned their citizens about energy rationing, sharp rises in living costs and other threats. American President Joe Biden also warned during a recent trip to Europe that there would be energy rationing and sharp increases in the cost of living. “eliminating Russian gas will have costs for Europe,”But “it’s not only the right thing to do from a moral standpoint… it’s gonna put us on a much stronger strategic footing.”
American Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), a more expensive fuel that must be transported by ship to special delivery terminals, could alleviate a percentage of the continent’s demands.
Thursday’s resolution also called for Russia to be expelled from the UN Human Rights Council, Interpol, the World Trade Organisation, UNESCO and other international organizations, and for all of the country’s banks to be removed from the SWIFT banking network.
It also demanded that all arms be shipped to Ukraine “must continue and be stepped up.”Although individual EU countries have sent arms to Ukraine’s military, the EU as a whole broke with the tradition when Josep Borrell, foreign policy chief announced in February that the bloc would send almost half a million euros. “lethal aid”Kiev
Although Thursday’s resolution passed with overwhelming support, there was some dissent in the parliament. Irish MEP Clare Daly saidAs a consequence of EU sanctions “Russia is undeterred, while EU citizens face disastrous inflation, rocketing energy costs, and a historic decline in living standards.”
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