Russian Energy Exports: To ban or not to ban

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EU countries are disagreeing about an embargo on Russia’s oil, coal and gas. And now Vladimir Putin raises the stakes.

  • It is a hotly debated issue among European countries: Should energy imports from Russia be stopped as quickly as possible in order to deprive the belligerent country of a steady inflow of Euros?
  • On his visit to several EU countries US president Joe Biden is expected to pressure Europeans to get rid of Russian exports. The US have already banned Russian oil from their market.
  • EU countries like Germany are however much more dependent on Russian energy deliveries than the US. While coal and oil could be bought elsewhere rather easily gas imports are difficult to replace.
  • German chancellor Olaf Scholz has warned an instant embargo could trigger a recession not only in Europe’s largest economy but in all of Europe. Half of Germany’s gas imports come from Russia.
  • Russian president Vladimir Putin has announced that “unfriendly” countries from now on should pay for gas imports in Rubles. It was unclear if such a move would violate existing agreements.
  • Payment in Rubles would force Western buyers to convert Euros or Dollars into Russian currency – thereby undermining the sanctions against the Russian Central Bank.
Financial Times
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