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EU considers energy sanctions on Russia after nuclear power plant attack


In Poland, a worker takes gas cylinders with him from the truck.

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The European Union is debating new sanctions against Russia — and this time they could hit the energy sector.

CNBC spoke to three European officials who were not allowed to speak publicly due to their sensitive nature. They said that the ministers would be considering imposing sanctions against Russia on Friday.

EU Foreign Affairs Ministers meet in Brussels to discuss the next steps with Moscow continues to bombard Ukraine. In the 24 hours since, concerns have grown over the past few hours. Russia’s attack on Europe’s largest nuclear plant — in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine — which has now been seized by Russian forces.

Josep Borrell (EU’s chief of foreign policy) stated that everything was on the table in advance of the meeting to CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick.

CNBC was told by a source that ministers would discuss energy sanctions, but no big decision is anticipated. Another official stated that Russia will be subject to both offensive and defensive sanctions.

The discussions will include representatives from the United States of America, Canada, and Ukraine.

Unofficial third party said Friday was an opportunity to review sanctions status in the West and demonstrate “the transatlantic unity” and cooperation between NATO and EU.

Already, the EU took bold measures to sanction Russia, including by excluding Russian banks from SWIFT, an international payment system. The pressure on the bloc has increased to make more.

Renew Europe, the liberal party at the European Parliament, said Thursday: “We call for a complete economic blockade banning imports from Russia, including oil & gas, and investments!”

Russia provides vital energy to the European Union.

According to data from The European Union, around 45% of EU’s gas imports came from India in 2021. International Energy Agency.According to the report, Russian oil imports represented 25% of total oil purchases in the bloc for 2020. region’s statistics office.

Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland’s prime minister, stated that Sberbank (Russian bank) and Gazprombank (Russian banks), have not been affected by EU sanctions. These two Russian banks facilitate energy supply transactions to the EU.

He said, “This is unacceptable.” “Poland requires sanctions that fully include all Russian entities through which war is being funded.”

Although energy sanctions have been mentioned by the United States, the cost of their implementation would need to be assessed.

Energy embargoes could lead to higher prices for U.S. consumers and EU consumers, in particular.

CNBC was informed Thursday by Emre Peker (an analyst with Eurasia Group), that Russia’s energy sanctions would prove to be very painful.

Peker said, “The longer we delay that decision and the further into spring it’s out of winter and early spring, the simpler it becomes to move.”

So far, the bloc believes that sanctions against Russia will have minimal ripple effects, as Russia is attacking not only Ukraine but Europe’s democracy values.