Following footage of mass deaths of civilians in Bucha, near Kyiv, European leaders have indicated that they may impose sanctions on Russia’s energy exports.
On Monday, the European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said that the organization was working on further penalties against Russia as a “matter of urgency.”
This week, President Macron of France announced that he would favor a comprehensive ban on Russian coal and oil shipments to the European Union. In an interview with a French television station, Macron stated that Russia committed war crimes in Bucha and that “it’s pretty established that the Russian army” is to blame.
“We can’t let this go. We need sanctions to deter what happened in Bucha, what is happening in Mariupol, and other such incidents, “Macron stated in his position. Since President Vladimir Putin authorized the invasion of Ukraine in February, Europe has slapped harsh economic sanctions on Russia. However, the EU has spared oil and natural gas exports, owing to divisions between member nations that are highly reliant on Russian resources and others who want to strike quicker at the heart of the Russian economy.
Impact of Energy Crisis on the War
“The situation would be compounded if Russian gas supply ceased,” Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing warned. We should expect a significant recession in Germany.
However, horrifying sights in Bucha over the weekend – a Kyiv neighborhood that Russian soldiers held until recently — may encourage import-dependent countries to accept the economic blow. Unarmed individuals’ bodies were discovered sprawled across highways, shackled, and shot. Russia has vehemently denied any role in the tragedy.
The stakes are high. Last year, the European Union bought Russian energy worth about €100 billion ($110 billion). Russia provides around 40% of the bloc’s natural gas imports and roughly 27% and 46% of its imported oil and coal, respectively.
EU leaders have agreed to cut Russian gas use by 66% by the end of this year and cease the bloc’s reliance on Russian energy by 2027.