Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EU, US, UK and Canada have shown seamless common front in his response to the Kremlin.Western allies in unprecedented coordination Also approved unprecedented sanctions against the Russian financial system, Central Bank of Moscow and more than 500 political leaders and oligarchs, including Vladimir Putin and your foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov. The unit that failed for the first time due to a power failure.
Although the United States and the United Kingdom have announced Embargo on Russian oil and gas (Canada already does)the EU is currently avoiding joining due to its high reliance on Moscow.
Europeans import about 40% of their natural gas from Russia, and 27% oil and 46% coal.Despite its goal of declaring its energy independence from the Kremlin, Brussels claims can’t be done overnight.
First major gap between Western allies revealed after signing this Tuesday Joe Biden from executive order Prohibited for import into the United States Oil, LNG and Coal from Russia.
The declared purpose was to deprive Vladimir Putin of the economic resources to finance the war against Ukraine. Last year, the United States imported about 700,000 barrels of Russian oil a day.
“Many of our allies and European partners may not be able to join us. The United States produces more oil locally than all European countries combined. In fact, we are a net exporter of energy. So we can take this step and others can’t,” Biden explained at a news conference announcing the embargo on Russian crude.
“But we are working closely with Europe on a long-term strategy to reduce its reliance on Russian energy. Our teams are actively discussing how to achieve this, today We are united in purpose: Continue to increase pressure on Putin and his war machine,” the US president stressed to minimize rifts with Europe.
A few minutes later, the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnsonannounced that it would follow in the footsteps of the United States, although at a slower speed. British proposal Cut all oil imports from Russia (8% of the total) from now to the end of the year. His administration is still studying whether Gazprom could also be exempted and is preparing to make an announcement in the coming days.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken revealed over the weekend that the White House is trying to coordinate action with the European Union, at least on oil. “Now we are Very positive discussions with our European partners on banning the import of Russian oil to our country while maintaining a stable global supply of oil,” explained In an interview with NBC on Sunday.
But the unit blew up on Monday due to the strong refusal of the German chancellor, Olaf Schultz. “Europe intends to exempt Russia from sanctions on energy supplyCurrently, Europe’s energy supply for heating, transport, electricity and industry cannot be guaranteed any other way,” Scholz argues. this is a statement.
The foreign minister insisted that his government and its European allies have been working for months to find alternatives to Russian energy. “But that can’t be done overnightThis is why we have made a conscious decision to continue commercial activities with Russia in the field of energy supply,” the statement concluded.
In fact, the EU has excluded two Russian banks that process gas payments from SWIFT sanctions: Sberbank and Gazprombank. Both Germany and Italy object to the precise disconnection of Russian banks from the financial information system for fear of a power outage. a decision that angered Poland, it really wanted Include the energy sector in sanctions against the Kremlin.
Hours before Biden’s announcement, the European Commission presented an action plan with the goal of achieving complete European independence from Russian gas. But not immediately, but between now and 2030.
“We must be independent of Russia’s oil, coal and gas. We simply cannot trust a supplier who clearly threatens us,” the president admitted, Ursula Von der Leyen.
The strategy will prioritize supply diversification by betting on liquefied natural gas (LNG), accelerating the deployment of renewable energy and using natural gas for heating and power generation.These measures can EU demand for Russian gas to fall by two-thirds by end of yearAccording to Brussels.
“I have been hearing for 20 years that we must reduce our dependence on Russia, but that dependence has continued to increase over the past 20 years. So from now on, we must translate words and deeds into actions,” complained the EU’s foreign affairs chief. , Joseph Borrellexist urgent debate Ukraine was discussed at the European Parliament last week.
According to your data, EU spends 700 million euros a day to import gas, oil and coal from Russia“None of the money we allocate to Russian gas and oil is going to increase the well-being of the Russian people. It’s just to make Putin’s war machine stronger,” Borrell denounced.