Poland urges EU to slap sanctions on Russian oil and gas

May 1, 2022, 1:13 PM | Updated: May 2, 2022, 10:35 am
FILE - Tanks for producing bio gas are pictured at the harbor in Hamburg, Germany, on April 19, 202...

FILE - Tanks for producing bio gas are pictured at the harbor in Hamburg, Germany, on April 19, 2022. Germany says it’s making progress on weaning itself off Russian fossil fuels and expects to be fully independent of crude oil imports from Russia by late summer. Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck on Sunday said Europe’s biggest economy has reduced the share of Russian imports in its energy consumption to 12 percent for oil, 8 percent for coal and 35 percent for natural gas. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

(AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

BRUSSELS (AP) — Poland urged its European Union partners on Monday to unite and impose sweeping sanctions on Russia’s oil and natural gas sectors over the war in Ukraine, and not to cave in to pressure to pay for their gas in Russian rubles.

The appeal came as EU ministers met in Brussels to discuss their response to Russia’s decision last week to cut gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland. Energy giant Gazprom says the two countries failed to pay their bills in April.

“We will call for immediate sanctions on Russian oil and gas. This is the next, and urgent, and absolute step,” Polish Climate and Environment Minister Anna Moskwa said. “We already have coal. Now it’s time for oil, and (the) second step is for gas. The best option is take them all together.”

The EU has hit Russian officials, oligarchs, banks, companies and other organizations with rafts of sanctions since Moscow ordered an invasion of Ukraine in February. The commission is working on a sixth round of measures, possibly including oil restrictions, and could announce them this week.

The measures would have to be approved by the member countries, which could take several days.

In a move last week branded in Europe as “blackmail,” Russian energy giant Gazprom cut supplies to Bulgaria and Poland. It came after Russian President Vladimir Putin said that “unfriendly” countries must start paying for gas in rubles, Russia’s currency.

Bulgaria and Poland have refused to do so, like most EU countries. More Gazprom bills are due on May 20, and the bloc is wary that Russia might turn off more taps then. Russia rejects the claims of blackmail.

Both countries informed the ministers that consumers and industry face no immediate supply risk.

EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson warned that Gazprom’s action “clearly shows that they are not reliable suppliers and that means all the member states have to have plans in place for full disruption” to their supplies.

The 27-nation EU imports around 40% of the gas it consumes from Russia. But some member countries, notably Hungary and Slovakia, are more heavily dependent on Russian supplies than others, and support for a gradual phasing in of an oil embargo is emerging.

Germany believes it could cope if supplies of Russian oil were cut off by Moscow. Economy Minister Robert Habeck said that Russian oil now accounts for 12% of total imports, down from 35% before the war, and most of it goes to the Schwedt refinery near Berlin.

“Germany is not against an oil ban from Russia. Of course it is a heavy load to bear, but we are ready to do that,” Habeck told reporters. He said that a few more weeks or months to find oil transporting ships, and to better prepare harbors and pipelines would be useful.

“Time is helpful but I think other countries have bigger problems, and as I have asked for solidarity or understanding of the German situation, I am also of course willing to understand the maybe more difficult situation for other countries,” he said.

The bulk of Monday’s meeting focused on shoring up gas supplies and not giving in to Putin’s demand that companies pay for gas in rubles. Around 97% of European contracts have been concluded in euros or dollars.

The EU’s executive branch, the European Commission, has warned that companies ceding to pressure to convert euros to rubles through two accounts at Gazprombank would be in contravention of the bloc’s sanctions.

French Ecological Transition Minister Barbara Pompili, whose country holds the EU’s rotating presidency until the end of next month, said all countries agreed “that we should implement the sanctions and respect the contracts. And the contracts clearly say payment in euros.”

Despite the pressure, Europe does have some leverage in the dispute since it pays Russia $400 million a day for gas, a huge dent in Moscow’s coffers should it opt for a complete cutoff.

___

Frank Jordans in Berlin and Mike Corder in The Hague contributed to this report.

___

Follow the AP’s coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Gov. Phil Bryant speaks about his legacy following a life of public service, Jan. 8, 2020, i...
Associated Press

Texts: Favre also sought welfare money for football facility

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — After Mississippi spent millions of dollars in welfare money on Brett Favre’s pet project, a university volleyball arena, the retired NFL quarterback tried two years later to get additional cash from the state’s welfare agency for another sports facility, new court documents show. The governor at the time, Republican Phil Bryant, […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Police: Man arrested in California plotted mass shooting

CHICO, Calif. (AP) — A 37-year-old man was arrested Sunday in Northern California on suspicion of threatening to kill police officers and planning a “Las Vegas-style” mass shooting, authorities said. The suspect was taken into custody by SWAT officers at a Super 8 motel in Chico after detectives obtained evidence of his plot, according to […]
17 hours ago
A sedan is wedged between a small, black pickup truck and the Bagel Time Cafe in Wildwood, N.J., ea...
Associated Press

Official: 2 killed amid crashes during pop-up NJ car rally

WILDWOOD, N.J. (AP) — A pop-up car rally over the weekend in southern New Jersey led to multiple crashes and the deaths of at least two people riding in a golf cart, officials say. Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron told NJ Advance Media on Sunday that there were a series of car crashes related to the […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Little evidence of political argument before teen’s death

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — There is little indication that an 18-year-old who died after being struck by an SUV in North Dakota was a political extremist like the driver claimed. Investigators say none of the witnesses they have interviewed support the idea that there was a political argument before authorities say Shannon Brandt struck Cayler […]
17 hours ago
Demonstrators hold placards outside the Iranian Embassy in London, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. They wer...
Associated Press

Unrest erupts near Iranian embassy in London over death

LONDON (AP) — Violent street protests erupted outside the Iranian embassy in London on Sunday, with rocks thrown at police and five protesters arrested. Large crowds have been gathering all week outside the Knightsbridge compound in protest against the death in Iranian police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Iran. She had been arrested by […]
2 days ago
Cuba's President Miguel Diaz Canel walks with his wife Lis Cuesta Peraza before casting his vote at...
Associated Press

Cuba holds unusual vote on law allowing same-sex marriage

HAVANA (AP) — Cuba held a rare referendum Sunday on an unusually contentious law — a government-backed “family law” code that would allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt, as well as outlining the rights of children and grandparents. Cuba holds parliamentary elections every two years, though no party other than the Communist is allowed, […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Poland urges EU to slap sanctions on Russian oil and gas