European politicians have floated the idea of an embargo on Russian gas after accusing the Russians of being behind an alleged massacre of civilians in the Kyiv suburbs, but not all countries agree with the proposal.
Enrico Letta, leader of Italy’s left-wing Democratic Party, suggested that his country impose an import embargo on Russian oil after the alleged massacre of civilians in Bucha on the outskirts of Kyiv, saying: “How many Bucha [are] needed before moving to a full oil and gas embargo from Russia? Time is over.”
Italy depends on Russia for around half of its natural gas supplies, which in turn provides around half of the country’s energy needs. The ongoing crisis in Ukraine has led to speculation that the government may be forced to ration gas.
Lithuania announced on Monday that it would expel the Russian ambassador, close a Russian consulate and recall its envoy to Moscow in response to mounting indications that Russian forces may have committed war crimes in Ukraine. https://t.co/DJGRqojvH8
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The invasion and resulting energy problems were also partly responsible for a rise in inflation in Italy, which in March was at levels not seen since the 1991 Gulf War.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė has also proposed an embargo and said her country will reject Russian imports, saying: “From now on our country will not consume a single cubic centimeter of Russian poison gas,” the newspaper said Il Giornale reports.
Lithuania also took steps to expel the Russian ambassador from his country over the alleged massacre, which several world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, have labeled a war crime.
Later, both Latvia and Estonia agreed on an embargo on Russian gas, and all three Baltic states called on European Union members to follow their example and stop importing gas supplies from the Russian Federation.
Germany suffers from Russian gas addiction ‘in the most brutal way’ – Ministerhttps://t.co/h87ZPPVIRd
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While some countries are pushing for a gas embargo, others are far more hesitant, including Germany, which also relies on Russian imports for much of its energy needs.
German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said he believed Russia should face consequences over the alleged massacre, but a gas embargo would harm his country.
“We have to plan tough sanctions, but gas cannot be replaced in the short term,” said Lindner, adding: “We would do more harm to ourselves than to them.”
Austria has also rejected the idea of an embargo, with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer stating in a television interview that an embargo was “out of the question”. Austria is also heavily dependent on Russian natural gas to cover its energy needs.
Rationing speculation as German minister prepares gas supply emergency measureshttps://t.co/DiCks6vFC8
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