Europe shamed over Russia gas sanctions delay talking the talk but not walking the walk

Ukraine: Europe shamed over Russia gas sanctions delay

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Oil and gas analyst Ashley Kelty has blasted European Governments and the European Union for “talking the talk but not walking the walk” when it comes to sanctions on Russia’s oil and gas exports. He argued that “vacillating” rather than taking clear action to punish Vladimir Putin over the invasion of Ukraine.  

Mr Kelty told TimesRadio: “What we are seeing is a lot of the European nations are talking the talk but they’re not walking the walk.

“For example, no France French companies have actually pulled out of Russia.

“So BP and Shell have terminated their operations in Russia, Total has not and still has a 20 percent stake in Novatek.

“It says it’s not going to invest anymore but it hasn’t actually withdrawn from Russia at all.

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He added: “So this is very much a case of the EU making big noises about it, but they’re vacillating on actually doing anything.

“So all this talk about shaping the energy traders that’s just shifting the blame for their inaction, but most of the energy traders are avoiding it.”

The foreign ministers of Ireland, Lithuania, and the Netherlands said on Monday that the European Union’s executive is drafting proposals for an EU oil embargo on Russia, although there was no agreement to ban Russian crude.

Many of the ministers meeting in Luxembourg showed support for sanctions on Russian oil imports, the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said, but for others, such a ban would constitute an “asymmetric shock”, he said. The bloc agreed, however, to intensify the delivery of weapons to Ukraine, Germany said.

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“They are now working on ensuring that oil is part of the next sanctions package,” Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said of the European Commission.

Targeting Russian oil, which makes up about a quarter of the EU’s crude imports, is seen as the EU’s next step as it seeks to pressure Russia to halt the shelling of Ukrainian cities following Moscow’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Galvanised by what Ukraine says are senseless killings of civilians by Russian troops since the invasion, the bloc last week approved a fifth round of sanctions on Russia that included an end to Russian coal imports.

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Russia has denied targeting civilians in what it calls a “special operation” to “denazify” its southern neighbour.

“Nothing is off the table, including sanctions on oil and gas,” Mr Borrell said.

He has previously said an embargo must happen “sooner or later”.

The European Parliament last week voted for an embargo, although its decision is not binding.

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