The Big Picture

EU Escalates Energy War Against Russia 

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  • New EU oil sanctions look to be targeting lasting damage to Russia's economy.
  • The pace and timing of sanctions implementation will be critical, with ample scope for unintended consequences.
  • Europe needs to start thinking strategically about its postwar relationship with Russia.

EU efforts to isolate Russia over its war in Ukraine are testing the bloc to its very limits. An alliance created on the premise that trade begets peace is being threatened by its trade dependency with Russia, a power that calculated that its energy market muscle would somehow immunize it from any negative consequences of invading Ukraine. The EU is responding. It had little choice. For one, its own energy security was clearly at stake, as seen in the EU plan to cut Russian gas imports by two-thirds this year and end them by 2027. But as the biggest buyer of Russian hydrocarbons, Europe has essentially been funding Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war. To retain credibility, this had to change.

Military Conflict, Sanctions, Low-Carbon Policy, Oil Supply
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