EU news: Europe threatened by crisis over Russian diesel in potential sanctions | World | News

Ukraine: Counter-attack close to ‘cutting off’ Russian supplies

Since the invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, the bloc has issued sanctions against Russian oligarchs and companies, but has stopped short of imposing immediate bans on oil and energy. Now, a French minister has warned an embargo on diesel would pose a “real problem” for Europe.

Barbara Pompili, French Minister for Energy Transition, said on Wednesday a possible European embargo on Russian oil would pose a “real problem” for diesel, of which Europe is a major consumer.

She added: “We in Europe and in France have to deal with this need for diesel, which is likely to become increasingly crucial if decisions are taken in the days or weeks to come.”

Speaking at the ministerial meeting of the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris, Ms Pompili noted ahead of Thursday’s EU, Nato and G7 summits: “These three summits will certainly be the occasion for new discussions on sanctions and therefore possible sanctions on oil imports .

“It is important to know that this will pose a real problem for diesel and that it will go far beyond the problems we may have with oil.”

The EU could face a ‘real problem’ should it sanction against Russian diesel (Image: GETTY)

Barbara Pompili said sanctions 'pose a real problem for diesel' 'far beyond the problems we may have with oil'

Barbara Pompili said sanctions ‘pose a real problem for diesel’ ‘far beyond the problems with oil’ (Image: EXPRESS)

Russia, the world’s largest oil exporter, produces some 11 million barrels a day of crude oil, of which just over 5 million are exported.

In December 2021, Russia’s Federal Customs Service said $ 26.157 billion (£ 19,829,054,093.10) worth of diesel duel was exported from Moscow, for a total over $ 153.993 billion (£ 116,736,549,552) in 2021.

The EU is Russia’s largest buyer, with Europa.eu holding the bloc bought $ 108 billion (££ 81,870,912,000) worth of energy from Moscow in 2021.

In France, the share of diesel in road fuel consumption is at 75.7 percent in February 2022, according to figures from oil industry professionals reported by website lefigaro.fr.

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Russia exported £ 116,736,549,552 worth of diesel in 2021 according to its own figures

Russia exported £ 116,736,549,552 worth of diesel in 2021 according to its own figures (Image: TRADINGECONOMICS)

Europa.eu held the EU bought £ 81,870,912,000 worth of energy from Moscow in 2021

Europa.eu held the EU bought £ 81,870,912,000 worth of energy from Moscow in 2021 (Image: EUROSTAT)

It comes as Thursday saw talks between EU leaders on whether to stop buying oil and gas from Russia begin.

Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland’s prime minister, said the EU needed to “crush” Russia with sanctions over the war, which he said has turned into a “massacre”.

Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš, Latvia’s Prime Minister, said energy sanctions were a “serious option” the EU should look at, starting with oil and coal.

He added: “Energy sanctions immediately are a way to stop money flowing into Putin’s coffers.

“Every day that we delay sanctioning Russia’s economy, Russia maintains the ability to feed its military machine.”

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Germany, which gets 55 percent of its gas imports from Russia, however, has warned that an immediate ban would cause unemployment and stop drivers filling their cars.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday to stop using Russian energy “from one day to the next would mean plunging our country and all of Europe into recession”.

Alexander de Croo, Belgium’s Prime Minister, added an oil embargo “would have a devastating effect on the European economy and I don’t think it’s necessary”.

Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg’s Prime Minister, argued that further sanctions should be “a reaction to something”, referring to chemical and biological weapons.

The UK announced in March it will end Russian oil imports by 2023

The UK announced in March it will end Russian oil imports by 2023 (Image: GETTY)

It also comes after Rishi Sunak warned privately the UK would suffer a £ 70billion hit and recession if Europe banned Russian oil and gas.

According to the Independent, the Chancellor told ministers at a cabinet meeting a ban from the EU would swipe up to £ 75bn from the UK economy “straight away”.

The UK announced earlier in March it will end Russian oil imports by the end of the year, while “exploring options” to end gas imports as well.

US President Joe Biden announced a ban on both oil and gas to deal “another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine”.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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