EU energy ministers hold energy crisis talks amid Russia cutting supply to some EU countries

On Monday, May 2, 2022, energy ministers from countries within the European Union held emergency energy talks amid Russia’s demand that buyers must pay for energy supplies in roubles or the gas supply will be shut off.

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The emergency meetings came after Russia halted energy gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland after refusing to pay for Russian energy products in roubles last week. 

Currently, the European Union is setting up a united response and is looking into possible embargos on Russian energy products. 

One of the main opponents to sanctions on Russian oil had been Germany due to their immense dependence on Russia for energy supplies, however, German representatives to EU institutions are lifting the country’s objection to a total Russian oil embargo, the WSJ reports.

The German representative to the EU says that Germany is prepared to remove their objection to the embargo if Germany is provided sufficient time to secure alternative energy supplies. 

However, in March, Economy Minister for Germany Robert Habeck, said he opposed an embargo on Russian imports of fossil fuels, stating that “We need these energy supplies to maintain the price stability and energy security in Germany,”.

Companies within Europe are facing a concerning legal issue as gas payment deadlines to Russian suppliers are approaching and companies are unsure whether they would be breaching EU sanctions against Russia if they pay them, Reuters reports.

Currently, Russia supplies approximately 40% of the EU’s gas and 26% of its oil imports. 

However, the EU is eyeing a total ban on energy imports from Russia by the end of the year.

EU energy ministers are scrambling to secure non-Russian energy supplies and fill depleted energy storage, as the EU braces for supply shocks.

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