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09:48 15 Apr 2022

The EU is finally preparing a gradual oil embargo against russia

Photo: facebook.com/ukrtransnafta

The European Union is finally preparing a gradual oil embargo against russia, which could be approved after the second round of the French presidential election on April 24.

This was reported by the New York Times.

Until now, the oil embargo has not been seen as an option because of the strong dependence of countries such as Germany and Hungary, for whom the blocking of Russian raw materials could disrupt policy in the region and raise energy prices.

The latest EU sanctions package has managed to agree on a coal embargo, which will take effect in August 2022. At the time, top EU officials hinted that oil sanctions were already being worked out and included in the next, sixth, package. The oil embargo will have a similar principle and will give countries a temporary "buffer" to find new suppliers.

As for the timing, the proposed restrictions will be put on the table after the last round of elections in France on April 24 to ensure that the price impact does not fuel populist and pro-Kremlin right-wing radical candidate Marine Le Pen and does not hurt President Emmanuel Macron's re-election.

But in addition to the elections in France, the approval of the embargo is also delayed due to Catholic Easter on April 16 and Orthodox Easter on April 24, which are celebrated as a holiday in Europe. This means that the discussion will be held in late April or early May. A summit of EU leaders on Ukraine is already scheduled for the end of May, but it is assumed that possible developments in Ukraine, in particular given the escalation of the offensive in the east, may lead to a preliminary meeting to discuss the need for an oil embargo.

Sources of the publication note that the EU is no longer waiting for a trigger to strengthen sanctions against russia in the issue of sanctions, but such an event could speed up approval.

To recap, the current President of France Emmanuel Macron won the first round of the presidential election, which took place on Sunday. He received 27.6% of the vote. Second place went to Marine Le Pen, who was voted for by 23.41% of the vote.

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