The EU regarded the aggression of the Russian Federation as an internal conflict in Ukraine, in which separatists operate with the support of Russia.
After February 24 of this year, the situation began to change radically / REUTERS illustration
Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale military invasion of independent Ukraine, the attitude of European countries towards Russian gas and oil has changed.
This was stated in an exclusive interview with UNIAN by the President of the Center for Global Studies “Strategy XXI” Mikhail Gonchar.
“Eight years ago, when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, energy resources were not subject to sanctions, which just indicates that the attitude of European politicians to Russian aggression was not adequate,” Honchar said.
He also noted that energy trade was deliberately removed from the sanctions list.
“The trade in energy resources was deliberately excluded from the sanctions regime. That is, the EU regarded the aggression of the Russian Federation as an internal conflict in Ukraine, in which separatists operate with the support of Russia. Over the 8-year period, Russia increased the volume of oil and gas exports to the EU,” the expert noted .
According to Gonchar, after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the situation began to change dramatically.
“After February 24 of this year, the situation began to change radically, but we cannot yet say that this process is completed. Then, when a complete energy embargo against Russia is introduced, it will be possible to argue that the attitude of the EU has undergone a radical change. In the third month of a large-scale invasion to Ukraine, to the European Union, the discussion on the embargo on energy carriers is still ongoing. This suggests that the evolution of European thought has not yet been completed, but it is evolving in a positive direction. The EU even started talking about de-Russification of energy imports,” the expert said.
War in Ukraine:
On February 24, 2022, the Russian Federation invaded independent Ukraine. Shelling and bombing of Ukrainian cities began. The civilian population of Ukraine is dying en masse.
On February 27, 2022, information appeared that Belarus might declare war on Ukraine.
At the end of March, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an order to pay for Russian gas exclusively in rubles, instead of euros. Then the EU leadership announced that it would not comply with this requirement.
At the end of April, Russia announced the suspension of gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria in connection with the refusal of these countries to pay in rubles.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the move showed Russia’s unreliability as an energy supplier.
According to Bloomberg, the Italian energy giant Eni SpA is preparing to open ruble accounts with Gazprombank, but is waiting for further instructions from the authorities regarding a new gas payment mechanism from the Kremlin.
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