Germany to support EU's Russian oil embargo, warns prices may spike
The heads of Germany’s ruling coalition parties have announced their intention to support the EU’s proposed total embargo on Russian oil imports, following the invasion of Ukraine.
Russian oil embargo could cause supply disruptions in Germany
Speaking at the culmination of a two-day closed-door cabinet meeting at Meseberg Castle in Brandenburg, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Economy Minister and Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck, and Finance Minister Christian Lindner all underlined their support for an EU embargo on Russian oil imports, but warned that such a move would have serious consequences for the federal republic.
Stating that a total embargo could cause supply “disruptions” and lead to the price of energy rising even further, Habeck emphasised that the measure was necessary. He added that the six-month transitional period outlined by the EU would give Germany enough time to “create alternatives to Russian oil.” Scholz added that the cabinet was working on legislation to accelerate the use of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) in Germany.
The cabinet also discussed further sanctions to increase pressure on Putin’s financial backers in Europe, as well as German arms deliveries to Ukraine. Last week, the government greenlit the direct export of heavy weapons from Germany for the first time, including 50 Gepard anti-aircraft tanks.
“We want Ukraine to win this war”
On Wednesday, the EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen unveiled the bloc’s sixth sanctions package against Russia. The measures include a total oil embargo, the exclusion of the largest Russian bank from international money transfers and transactions, a broadcast ban for three state broadcasters, and further sanctions on individuals.
“We want Ukraine to win this war,” von der Leyen said as she unveiled the package. Explaining that the oil embargo would include a six-month transitional period for crude oil deliveries and 12 months for refined products, she added, “In this way, we want to maximise pressure on Russian and at the same time minimise collateral damage for us and our partners worldwide.”
Speaking at the press conference in Brandenburg on Wednesday, Chancellor Scholz said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had miscalculated in the war in Ukraine, and rather than weakening them was now fighting a stronger and more united NATO and EU.