German economy minister expects EU embargo on Russian oil ‘within days’ — report

German Economic and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck speaks during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum 2022 (WEF) in the Alpine resort of Davos, Switzerland, May 23, 2022.  REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

German Economic and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck speaks during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum 2022 (WEF) in the Alpine resort of Davos, Switzerland, May 23, 2022. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

BERLIN — The European Union will likely agree an embargo on Russian oil imports “within days,” Germany’s economy minister said on Monday, but making a dent in Russia’s war chest may require capping global oil prices.

“We will reach a breakthrough within days,” Robert Habeck told German broadcaster ZDF when asked about an EU oil embargo in retaliation for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

He warned, however, that an embargo would not automatically weaken the Kremlin. Rising global oil prices after the United States announced an embargo on Russian oil enabled it to rake in more income while selling lower volumes.

Therefore, the European Commission and United States were working on a proposal to no longer pay “any price” for oil, but to cap global prices, he said.

“It is obviously an unusual measure, but these are unusual times,” he said. “This path only works if many countries get on board… and that’s proving to be the sticking point.”

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