Snubbing US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s proposal to impose tariffs and thereby mitigate a global price spike, the European Union is preparing to embargo all imports of oil from Russia sometime next week, the New York Times reported on Friday, citing anonymous officials in Brussels.
Ambassadors for the 27 member nations will meet next Wednesday and give their final approval for the measure by the end of the week, the US outlet claimed, citing “several EU officials and diplomats involved in the process.” None of them were authorized to speak publicly.
Unless Hungary makes “last minute” demands, the process should be completed without the time-consuming step of calling all EU leaders to meet in Brussels, these anonymous officials said.
The oil embargo is likely to be phased, blocking tankers more quickly than shipments through pipelines and giving EU members time to wind down existing contracts – similar to the four-month grace period for the ban on coal imports, put in place earlier. This sixth package of EU sanctions will also target Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank with a significant presence in Europe, as well as “high-profile” Russians, according to the same sources.