Habeck in daily topics: oil embargo against Russia “very likely”

Status: 2022-02-05 22:14

After a meeting of EU energy ministers, Economy Minister Habeck expects an oil embargo against Russia. He assumes that Brussels will come up with a corresponding sanctions package on Tuesday, he said in the daily topics.

After the German yes to an oil embargo against Russia, the European-wide discussion on this subject is gaining momentum. However, there is still no EU-wide agreement.

In an interview with the daily topics said Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck, but he considered an embargo “very likely”. On Tuesday, the European Commission will make proposals for a sixth sanctions package. “There will definitely be oil in there,” the green politician said. It would then take a few more days for the Member States to vote on the proposal for the sixth package of sanctions with the Commission. As a general rule, sanctions must be decided unanimously within the EU.

Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck says EU oil embargo against Russia ‘highly likely’

daily topics 10:15 p.m., 2.5.2022

Hungary must be convinced

Responding to Hungary’s refusal to support an embargo, Habeck explained: “It is common practice to find clever ways to bring even recalcitrant states to agree.” He is confident that it will succeed on Tuesday. It remains unclear under what conditions countries like Hungary, which are heavily dependent on Russian oil supplies, could give the necessary approval for an EU import ban. For example, a transitional period – for example until the beginning of next year – or exceptions would be possible.

There is a broad consensus within the EU that there should be no public challenge to the sanctions against Russia. Hungary, however, recently openly threatened a veto. Since the start of the war, Hungary has supported all EU sanctions against Russia, but strictly refuses to sell its own weapons to Ukraine.

Hungarian Chancellery Minister Gergely Gulyas said no one could currently replace Russian oil and gas supplies. It would take five years and “a lot of money” to change. Not only does the Commission not give money to Hungary, but it withholds it. Gulyas refers to the financial aid from the Corona reconstruction fund, which the European Commission has not yet disbursed because it is concerned about its legal use.

World prices will rise

Regarding the consequences of a possible oil embargo against Russia, Habeck said that such a measure would not go unnoticed in Germany either. However, he considers the embargo important “because we free ourselves a little from the moral guilt of supporting Putin’s regime with our payments”, the federal economy minister said.

Conversely, an embargo will cause world prices to rise. You have to be very careful that “we don’t allow a situation to arise where Putin has even more income with less imports”.

EU energy ministers discuss oil embargo against Russia

Michael Grytz, ARD Brussels, daily topics 10:15 p.m., May 2, 2022

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