EU foreign ministers on Monday discussed the camp’s efforts to squeeze Russia’s economy with sanctions, including the possibility of energy sanctions, but no decision has been taken.
“There is nothing on the table, including sanctions on oil and gas,” EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borel said following a meeting in Luxembourg. But no decision has been made today.
The European Union last Friday approved a fifth embargo against Russia, including the first significant embargo on Russia’s energy imports – coal. However, the federation is deeply divided over whether to start with oil and move forward with further energy import restrictions.
A senior EU official in Monday’s talks said there had been little detailed discussion of options on Monday and no progress had been made in bridging the divide within the coalition. A group led by Germany opposes a halt to oil imports. Others, led by Poland, are urging the camp to stop buying Russian energy.
He described the “asymmetrical shock” that further energy sanctions would be imposed on some countries that rely heavily on Russian oil and gas. Borel noted. “It should be managed by combining unity and solidarity,” he said.
EU officials say it could take several more weeks for the European Commission to come up with a proposal for a new round of sanctions, although time will eventually depend on what happens in Ukraine.
The foreign ministers met with Karim Khan, a lawyer at the International Criminal Court in Luxembourg, on Monday morning to discuss efforts to investigate possible war crimes in Ukraine.
Several member states, including Sweden’s foreign minister, announced on Monday that they were ready to finance the ICC’s work. In addition, Mr Borel said the EU’s mission in Ukraine would help authorities compile evidence of war crimes. The EU reopened its operations in Kyiv last weekend.
A French special police team specializing in forensics has already arrived in Ukraine to investigate war crimes.
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