Europe Weighs Costs of a Russian Oil Embargo

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  • Western policymakers are considering different structures to restrict Russia’s oil sales as the war in Ukraine drags on.
  • The aim is to minimize the chance further supply restrictions will simply increase prices — and revenues to Moscow.
  • Europe appears likely to target Russian oil revenue in the coming weeks, but gas remains off the table for now.

Political pressure is ratcheting up on European policymakers to target Russian oil imports — and revenues — in a sixth package of sanctions against Moscow expected next month. But the 27-member EU bloc is divided as to the best way to go about it, a problem given that sanctions require unanimity. Moscow halting natural gas shipments to Poland and Bulgaria after they refused to comply with a new ruble payment mechanism raises the specter of Russian retaliation for any phase-in of sanctions on Russian oil. Relative to the US, the continent is much more dependent on Russian energy, and European policymakers are already dealing with rampant inflation.

Sanctions, Policy and Regulation, Military Conflict, Oil Supply, Ukraine Crisis
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