European Union likely to approve Russian oil embargo next week: report

Embargo expected to be announced in new sanctions package against Moscow

European Union countries next week are likely to approve a phased embargo on Russian oil, dealing a significant economic blow to Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, The New York Times is reporting. 

The newspaper, citing EU officials and diplomats involved in the discussions, reported that ambassadors will meet Wednesday to go over a finalized proposal, and the expectation is they will approve the measures by the end of next week. 

As the oil embargo is phased in, the European countries will turn to increased imports from Persian Gulf countries, Nigeria, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, The New York Times reports. 

PCK oil refinery Russia

The PCK oil refinery in Schwedt, Germany, shown above in 2014, is operated by Russian oil company Rosneft. (Reuters/Axel Schmidt / Reuters)


In addition, a fresh wave of EU sanctions will target Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, and several high-profile Russians, the officials added. 

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that a full ban on Russian oil was possible after Germany changed its stance this week. 

The reversal from Germany, which had been one of the main opponents of the EU severing oil and gas trade with Russia, comes after Berlin struck a deal with Poland to import oil by way of one of its Baltic Sea ports, according to that report.  

EU Protest Russian oil gas

A protestor holds a sign as she takes part in a demonstration outside EU headquarters in Brussels Friday, April 29, 2022, to call on the European Union to stop buying Russian oil and gas  (AP/Virginia Mayo / Associated Press)

On Wednesday, Germany’s representatives to the EU lifted their objection to a Russian oil embargo under the assumption the country had enough time to find alternative supplies, two German government officials who spoke to the newspaper said.  


The EU reportedly pays state-controlled Russian firms around $1 billion a day for energy.   

Putin Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council via video conference at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Friday, April 29. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP / Associated Press)

Around 12% of Germany's current oil supplies come from Russian imports, down from 35% at the beginning of the Ukraine war, according to German Economy Minister Robert Habeck.