Washington and Brussels would discuss sanctions targeting Russian energy
US and EU officials are reportedly discussing steps Brussels could take to effectively curb oil imports from Russia and reduce the revenue Moscow receives.
Options include a ban, a price cap and a payment mechanism that would withhold revenue generated from crude oil in the heavily sanctioned country, according to people familiar with the matter, as quoted by Bloomberg.
The talks are part of the West’s latest sanctions campaign against Russia over the military operation in Ukraine. While the United States introduced a total ban on energy from Russia, which has been echoed by Canada, Australia and Japan, EU member states are divided on the issue.
The United States is said to be concerned that an outright EU ban on Russian oil could send prices skyrocketing, only increasing Moscow’s revenue. On Thursday, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen confirmed that a full embargo could hurt European economies hard without having as much impact on Russia as expected.
Brussels is expected to present proposals for EU members to discuss as early as next week. Consensus for a limited ban on crude oil would be easier to achieve than restricting imports of diesel and other products.
Earlier this week, several diplomats told Politico that the EU would introduce a sixth round of sanctions against Russia as early as next week. The package is expected to include some form of a ban on Russian oil imports and could also target more Russian banks by kicking them out of the SWIFT international payment system.
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