EU foreign ministers must lead on immediate sanctions on Russian oil

April 8, 2022

Despite five rounds of sanctions, the EU is still sending Putin $285m a day to feed its dependance on imported oil, writes T&E in an open letter.

EU foreign ministers meet in Brussels on Monday while the world looks on in horror at the endless suffering in Ukraine. The continuing escalation of the violence unleashed by Putin on Ukraine’s population has been brought into sharp relief by the atrocities uncovered in Bucha and the Kyiv region.

Yet despite five successive rounds of sanctions against Russia over it’s military aggression in Ukraine the EU is still sending Putin $285 million a day to feed its dependance on imported oil, T&E tells the ministers in an open letter published today. The rockets, tanks and guns destroying Ukrainian cities and killing its citizens were bought with money Putin earned selling petrol and diesel to European drivers.  

European oil money – historically accounting for 4 out of 5 dollars made on Russian oil and gas exports – has underpinned Putin’s military spending for over two decades. Imposing immediate sanctions on Russian oil imports would deal the swiftest and sharpest blow to Putin’s war machine. 

After 44 days of war, for the sake of Ukraine and its people, EU oil sanctions cannot be delayed any further.

T&E and many other NGOs have already called on EU Governments to end Russian oil and gas imports to stop financing the war against Ukraine- it is now time that EU leaders did their part. 

On Monday, at the Foreign Affairs Council, we urge you to lead a call for immediate EU sanctions on Russian oil and for the European Commission to propose concrete measures to swiftly reduce oil demand as part of the upcoming REpowerEU strategy. Language to that end should be included in the Council conclusions.

Ending Europe’s fossil fuel addiction is an urgent moral imperative in which the EU needs to take global leadership. Putin’s unbelievable military aggression requires a forceful EU response which must be coupled with decisive action to shield vulnerable households and Businesses. Ukraine’s people cannot wait any longer, continued inaction on Russian oil, condones the destruction of a free and democratic Ukraine and its people.

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