Germany’s vice chancellor has warned that a Russian oil ban will harm Europe’s economy, even as he backed the plan.
EU governments are debating proposals to ban Russian oil imports in an effort to increase pressure on the Kremlin.
German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck said Monday, “We will be harming ourselves, that much is clear.”
Germany has cautioned that a ban on Russian oil imports will harm Europe’s economy, even as it backed an embargo.
The country’s vice chancellor and economy minister warned Monday that energy prices would rise for consumers as a result of a ban, which is currently being weighed up by the 27-member European Union.
“We will be harming ourselves, that much is clear,” Robert Habeck said.
Habeck said Europeans should be prepared to bear the cost in order to help Ukraine, “but there’s no way this won’t come at a cost to us.”
The minister that he expected the European Commission to propose a ban on the import of Russian oil. He said oil prices would inevitably rise, if it took such a step.
Yet Habeck said there would need to be a “clever compromise” to get all member states to agree.
”Hungary, which is heavily reliant on Russian energy, has been particularly vocal in its opposition to the plan.”
Germany, which is also a major importer of Russian, has softened its position in recent days, and it has dropped its opposition to an oil embargo as long as it has time to prepare.
The country has sharply reduced its reliance on Russian oil over the last month, its Economy Ministry said on Sunday.
It is now importing around 12 per cent of its oil from Russia, down from around one-third in 2021. Germany said it was still receiving 35 per cent of its natural gas from the country, however.
Brent crude was 1.52 per cent lower Tuesday at $105.92 a barrel, as investors balanced fears about the global economy against the possibility of an oil ban. WTI crude was down 1.7 per cent to $103.38.