European Union agree to ban Russian oil, eyes Africa
The debate of whether the European Union should ban Russian oil have been in motion for a while. The decision became necessary to make when Putin ordered Russian troops to invade Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
As many European countries heavily depends on Russian energy, the decision to outrightly ban Russian became huge issue. In as much as many leaders in the EU were in favour, the outright ban was not feasible. It must definitely be gradual process.
While the European Union prepare to boycott Russian oil, it has several options including some African countries e.g Nigeria, Senegal etc. President of the United States earlier promised massive support for the EU should they finally boycott Russian energy.
Speaking to member countries of the European Union, President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen emphasized the procedure to be taken to fully abandon Russian oil within six months.
She said though it’s very difficult because some member countries fully depend on Russian energy, it has become necessary to save Ukrainian people.
“Today we are addressing our dependency on Russian oil. Let’s be clear, it will not be easy because some member states are strongly dependent on Russian oil. But we simply have to do it. So today we will propose to ban all Russian oil from Europe. We will make sure that we phase out Russian oil in an orderly fashion. This is why we will phase out Russian supply of crude oil within six months” Ursula Von de Leyen said.
Ukrainian officials including President Volodymyr Zelensky have been advocating for the world to boycott Russian energy, especially the European Union. They have accused countries still buying Russian oil of sponsoring genocide in Ukraine.
Ursula Von der Leyen said Ukraine needs the help of the EU. She said to be able to assist Ukraine, the EU must be strong.
“To help Ukraine we have to make sure our economy has to remain strong. We want Ukraine to win this war but we also want to set the conditions for Ukraine’s success in the aftermath of the war. Europe have a very special responsibility towards Ukraine. With our support Ukraine can rebuild their country for the next generation. And this is why today I propose to you that we start working on an ambitious recovery package for our Ukrainian friends. If we do it right, it will bring stability and eventually it will pave the way for Ukraine’s future inside European Union”