EU unity on Russia sanctions ‘crumbling’ – Germany

German economy minister warns of waning “unity” in the EU as the bloc is struggling to agree on oil embargo against Russia

After Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, the EU is showing unity. “crumble,”Robert Habeck, German Economy Minister, stated this on Sunday. The warning comes ahead of the bloc’s summit to discuss a new sanctions package against Moscow and a potential oil embargo.

“After Russia’s attack on Ukraine, we saw what can happen when Europe stands united. We look forward to tomorrow’s summit. Let us hope it goes as well. It is beginning to fall apart again.”Habeck addressed a news conference.

The EU has been unable to come up with a consensus on Russia’s imposition of an oil embargo. Many EU member countries have voiced concerns about the impact on their economies. Hungary is the main opponent to the embargo. It receives the majority of its oil from Russia. “an atomic bomb.”Other landlocked countries, such as Slovakia and Czechia have also expressed similar concerns about the embargo.

Ursula von der Leyen (President of European Commission) gave an explanation for why the EU continues to purchase Russian oil earlier in this week.

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A receiver station of the Druzhba pipeline of petroleum between Hungary and Russia. © AFP / Attila kisbenedek
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“If we would completely, immediately, as of today cut off the [Russian] oil, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin might be able to take the oil that he does not sell to the EU to the world market, where the prices will increase, and sell it for more – and that would fill his war chests,”In an interview with MSNBC, Von der Leyen stated these words.

Reports claim that EU diplomats attempted to reach a compromise to end the impasse on sanctions. They started the embargo by prohibiting Russian oil from being shipped to sea and allowed pipelines to escape any restrictions. The summit on Monday and Tuesday will see the EU nations trying to come up with a solution.

After Russia launched an extensive offensive against Ukraine late February, the EU has placed multiple sanctions on Russia.

Russia attacked the neighboring country following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. French- and German-brokered protocols were intended to provide special status for the Ukrainian states that breakaway areas.

Since then, the Kremlin demanded Ukraine declare itself neutral and vow to never join NATO’s military bloc. Kiev claims that the Russian invasion was unprovoked. It also denies any plans to take the republics with force.



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