The French minister told LCI television in an interview on Sunday, as carried by Reuters:
- Should we in the immediate stop buying Russian oil, should a little bit further down the line we stop importing Russian gas?
- The president has never ruled out these options
The U.S. banned imports of Russian energy, including oil, LNG, and coal 2 weeks ago, while the UK announced on the same day that it would phase out imports of Russian oil by the end of the year.
Russian imports account for 8 % of total UK oil demand, but the UK is also a significant producer of both crude oil and petroleum products, in addition to imports from a diverse range of reliable suppliers beyond Russia, including the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S., its government said.
Moreover, Canada prohibited Russian ships and fishing vessels from entering Canadian ports and internal waters.
The UK banned on the same day from its ports any vessels «owned or operated by anyone connected to Russia» and said that authorities would also gain new powers to detain Russian vessels.
However, the EU and its biggest members, including Germany, have been reluctant so far to ban imports of Russian energy or impose sanctions on Russian oil and gas exports, considering that Europe depends on Russia for more than 1/4 of its oil supply and 1/3 of its natural gas supply.
Author: Charles Kennedy