New sanctions are being discussed among member states, who are divided over the issue of an embargo on Russian hydrocarbons.
The European Parliament has called for an embargo in a resolution adopted on Thursday “total and immediate” on import “oil, coal, nuclear fuel and gas” Russians.
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The resolution was adopted by 513 MEPs (22 votes against, 19 abstentions). “This is a very important moment and an important step. Parliament’s position is clear and sends the strongest support to those on the front lines.”noted the president of the institution, Roberta Metsola, after the vote on this non-binding resolution.
The European Commission on Tuesday proposed to the Twenty-seven to increase sanctions by halting purchases of Russian coal, which represent 45% of total EU coal imports, and by closing European ports to Russian ships. The modalities of this 5th series of sanctions are currently being discussed between the representatives of the Member States.
Parliament therefore demands to go further, but a possible embargo on Russian oil (25% of total European oil imports) and Russian gas (45% of the total) is the subject of bitter discussions between Members of the Member States, Berlin has publicly stated its reluctance. The subject will be discussed at the meeting of European foreign ministers on Monday.
Stepping up sanctions and support for Ukraine
With this resolution, MEPs also ask: “Intensify arms supplies to Ukraine”that Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kouleba demanded again on Thursday during a trip to NATO headquarters in Brussels.
So far, the 27 have agreed a one billion euro envelope to supply arms to Kiev. “It may seem like a lot, but a billion euros is what we pay Putin every day for the energy he gives us”Josep Borrell, the head of European diplomacy, said Wednesday.
Parliament also called on the EU to cut off Russian banks’ access to the international financial system Swift (to which seven branches currently have no access) and to ban the road and sea transport of goods to Russia. He claimed that “all necessary measures” be taken so that “the actions of Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko”Belarusian President, “to be prosecuted as war crimes and crimes against humanity”.
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MEPs also spoke out in favor of the establishment of a “Marshall-like fund” Ukraine to rebuild after the war.