EU member states would consider energy sanctions against Russia among the latest set of potential sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine, a senior European Commission official said on Tuesday.
Valdis Dombrovskis, the commission’s executive vice-chairman, said sanctions targeting Russian oil and coal were “certainly an option” as far as the commission was concerned, but that it would be necessary to reach a consensus between the states members. Some capitals have expressed skepticism about the idea.
“There are discussions about what can be done in the area of energy, like coal and oil,” Dombrovskis said upon arriving at a meeting of finance ministers in Luxembourg. “What is important in this situation is that we come up with a strong and credible set of sanctions.”
Also arriving at the meeting, Bruno Le Maire, the French Minister of Finance, reiterated that France was open to measures against coal and oil, while stressing that it was essential to preserve the unity of the 27 Member States. on penalties.
“I think there is a total determination of the 27 member states to strengthen the sanctions, and that is the key point,” he said.
Finance ministers are holding talks ahead of a meeting of EU ambassadors tomorrow in Brussels to discuss the fifth sanctions package following Russia’s large-scale invasion of its neighbor on February 24. While some member states want to target the Russian energy sector, others including Germany and Austria have warned against a sudden decision to cut imports.
The EU is not currently discussing cutting Russian gas imports, but officials seem more open to discussing oil or especially coal. Other sanctions on the table include restrictions on other types of exports to Russia, including high-tech components, new lists of Kremlin-linked individuals and closing loopholes in existing sets of measures. .
Pressure for new sanctions has grown following allegations that Russian forces have committed atrocities against civilians around Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital. Russia dismissed the allegations as fabrications.
The finance ministers plan to discuss the sanctions on Tuesday morning, as well as speak with Ukraine’s finance minister via video link.
They will also try to reach a consensus on the EU’s implementation of a minimum effective corporate tax rate after a global agreement reached with the OECD last year.