A large majority of MEPs (413 against 93 with 46 abstentions) supported an amendment that calls for a total embargo on imports of fossil fuels from Russia. The final resolution was passed by a broad majority of 513 to 22 with 19 abstentions. “This is an important moment and a significant step. The position of this parliament is clear and sends the strongest possible message of support to the people on the front lines in Ukraine,” President Roberta Metsola greeted the adoption of the resolution to loud applause in the hemisphere. 

In Brussels, diplomats from member states are currently discussing a ban on coal imports, but that represents only a small part of Russia’s revenue from exports to the European Union. The situation is different with gas and oil. For example, 40 percent of European gas imports come from Russia. This gas is used, among other things, to heat houses, generate electricity and provide industry with energy. The EU gets about 30 percent of its oil imports from Russia, which is mainly needed to supply vehicles with petrol and diesel. 

Due to the import of oil and gas, an estimated 700 to 800 million euros flows into the war treasury of the Kremlin every day. 

Slap for Putin

An embargo prohibits the import of Russian oil and gas to European countries. Countries such as Germany and Austria have consistently resisted the measure, as they rely heavily on Russian gas and the economic impact would be too great. Germany activated its emergency plan last week to prepare for the failure of Russia’s gas supply. Our country also has such an emergency plan , in which three crisis phases are defined. Belgium is dependent on Russia for only 6.6 percent of its gas consumption. Serious consequences for our country are not expected. 

With the resolution, which also calls for all Russian banks to be excluded from payment operator Swift’s network and to increase arms deliveries to Ukraine, MEPs want to increase pressure on the European Commission and Member States to take stricter sanctions against the regime. of Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to experts, the embargo would be a blow to Putin. For example, payments from European countries would help stabilize the Russian ruble so far. In other words, a ban could prevent Putin from financing the war in Ukraine so easily. 

According to the resolution, the disconnection of Russian suppliers must be accompanied by a plan to ensure energy security and a strategy must be developed to roll back sanctions if Russia takes steps to restore Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and withdraw troops from neighboring countries.

Price Explosions 

Most of Russia’s gas ends up in Europe through pipelines that run through Ukraine, Poland and under the Baltic Sea. No major shortages are expected for the time being if the Russian gas supply were to stop. The winter is over and there will be enough gas available in Europe in the short term. In addition, an embargo would ensure that more alternatives, such as wind and solar energy, are looked at. In addition, more and more European countries are investing in LNG, liquefied natural gas. However, LNG is much more expensive, and only a few European countries – including Spain – have LNG terminals. Countries such as France, Croatia and Poland are planning to build new terminals. 

Oil is more often transported by ship. Since there are more oil suppliers than Russia alone, there are several possibilities to get oil from other countries in the world. 

If, on the other hand, the fears of the Germans become reality, and thus supply problems do arise, this could lead to new price explosions. In that case, there will also be an impact on all neighboring countries. Whether gas stocks will remain stable in the long term and whether prices will fluctuate further or not remains to be seen. 

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