EU Made No Decisions on Sanctioning Russian Oil, Gas, But Will Continue Discussions, Borrell Says
14:52 GMT 11.04.2022 (Updated: 17:14 GMT 12.04.2023)
Earlier, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney called on the EU countries to consider slapping sanctions on Russian oil sales as a response to Moscow's decision to launch the special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February.
EU Foreign Ministers have made no decisions to impose sanctions against Russian gas or oil sales during ongoing talks on the latest round of Russian penalties, EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, has said. He added that the ministers agreed to continue deliberations on the new package of sanctions.
The top EU diplomat said that the bloc needs to understand how the existing sanctions affect Russia's economy and determine how to move forward. He separately noted that measures targeting Russian gas and oil have not yet been ruled out even though no decision was made on them today.
"We continue discussing about how to implement these sanctions to avoid any kind of loopholes", the diplomat said.
Borrell added that instead of slapping sanctions on Russian energy resources, EU member states agreed to focus on enforcing the existing ones better. The EU states also agreed to continue providing military assistance to Ukraine – beyond the 1.5 billion euros already allocated.
"As you know, we have mobilized more funding from European peace facility and we are ready to continue supporting Ukraine on the military side", he said.
Ahead of today's council of EU ministers, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney called on colleagues to consider slapping sanctions on Russian crude. Lithuania's Foreign Minister, in turn, said that the EU ministers will discuss a potential sixth package of anti-Russian sanctions with an "oil option".
The EU and other western countries slapped Russian businesses, banks, its Central Bank and politicians with tough sanctions in response to Moscow's decision to launch the special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February. Kiev repeatedly called on the European countries to stop buying Russian gas. However, many European countries receive up to half of their natural gas from Russia making this a difficult request to grant.