Germany says EU unity over sanctions against Russia is ‘collapsing’

The summit of the EU countries, where new sanctions against Russia will be discussed, will be held from May 30 to 31. According to the head of the German Finance Ministry, EU unity on sanctions against Moscow on the eve of the summit “begins to crumble”

Robert Habek

EU unity regarding sanctions against Russia “begins to crumble”; ahead of the summit, which will discuss the oil embargo and plans to reduce dependence on Russian energy. This was stated by the head of the German Ministry of Economics Robert Habeck, reports Reuters.

According to him, after the start of Russia's special operation in Ukraine, “we saw what can happen when Europe is united.” “In view of tomorrow's summit, let's hope that this will continue. But this unity is already beginning to crumble, — he said.

Habek urged Germany to speak at the summit “with one voice” and not abstain from voting due to disagreements within the country's ruling coalition. He called for similar unity in other EU states.

Since the end of February, Russian companies, banks and citizens have been subject to Western sanctions: officials, parliamentarians, public figures, heads of state companies and journalists. In the last— the fifth package of sanctions— The EU has also banned coal imports and restricted freight.

Since May, the European Commission has been working on the sixth package of sanctions against Russia. Initially, it was planned to include a ban on the purchase of all Russian oil— both raw and purified, said the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. However, the package of measures could not be agreed upon, including due to the position of Hungary, which did not agree to abandon Russian oil.

On May 29, Bloomberg reported that the EU may provide for the exclusion of supplies via the Druzhba oil pipeline; from the sanctions package. “Such a compromise would buy Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban time to agree on the technical details of a gradual halt to pipeline supplies to his country,” publication indicated.

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In response to Western sanctions, the Russian authorities announced retaliatory measures, and the government developed and adopted a large-scale package of measures to support the economy. Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak previously warned that the rejection of Russian hydrocarbons threatens to collapse the gas and oil markets, since Russia is their largest supplier.

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