Macron, Scholz Warn Europe May Face Consequences of Russian Gas Embargo Next Winter
11:00 GMT 22.04.2022 (Updated: 11:27 GMT 22.04.2022)
© AP Photo / Martin MeissnerPipeline taps are pictured near a chemical plant in Wesseling, near Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, April 6, 2022
© AP Photo / Martin Meissner
European countries have been calling for an embargo on Russian gas and oil as they continue to condemn Moscow's ongoing military operation in Ukraine.
French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that Europe might face consequences next winter if it imposes an embargo on Russian gas.
"We will not see the consequences of this [sanctions against Russian energy resources] in the spring and summer of 2022 [as gas storages have been replenished], but next winter, we will feel them if there is no more Russian gas," Macron said in an interview with the Ouest-France daily.
A similar sentiment was voiced by German Chancellor Scholz in his interview with Der Spiegel.
"I absolutely do not see how a gas embargo would end the war. If [Russian President Vladimir] Putin were open to economic arguments, he would never have begun this crazy war," he said, defending his decision not to end German imports of Russian gas.
The chancellor also said that the issue is not about money but rather about "avoiding a dramatic economic crisis and the loss of millions of jobs and factories that would never again open their doors."
Embargo? 'Not Today'
President Macron earlier hinted that the issue of sanctions against Russian oil and gas could be put on an agenda, "but not today".
"Negotiations on coal and oil are already underway, but not yet on gas. We are aware of enormous difficulties, which it causes. That is why you have been hearing for many years that I am talking about the energy sovereignty of Europe," Macron told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
Although the European countries have been mulling the idea of ending imports of Russian gas and oil as a means of sanctioning Moscow over its military operation in Ukraine, it seems that the EU does not see unity when it comes to this initiative. For instance, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi hinted Europe might be facing a choice between air conditioning in the summer and aid for Ukraine.
The western countries have slapped harsh sanctions against Russia over the military operation in Ukraine, condemning it as an invasion and beefing up the Ukrainian military. Moscow, in its turn, argues that the goal of the military operation is to "demilitarise and de-Nazify" the neighbouring country.