Oil and gas are central to the Russian economy. The EU has adopted its sixth sanctions package, which contains a complete import ban on all Russian crude oil and petroleum products. This covers 90 per cent of the EU’s current oil imports from Russia. Furthermore, the UK and US ban on the insurance for oil cargo will impede Russia’s capacity to redirect exports to other markets.
Despite some decoupling since the war, Europe still depends heavily on Russian energy, especially Germany and Italy. The EU has given €35 billion to Russia for energy supplies since the start of the war and only €1 billion to fund Ukraine’s defence. Cutting off the revenues to Russia derived from energy imports will have an impact on the European and global economies.
The EU has also pledged to cut gas imports from Russia by two-thirds over the next year and is considering alternative sources of energy including liquified natural gas imports from Qatar and the United States. The problem is that as the volume of Russian energy exports declines, global energy prices rise, thus cushioning the fall in Russia’s revenue and income for the state budget.
A panel of experts discuss the EU’s sanctions policy and its efforts to cut off Russian energy dependency. They will cover the following issues:
What are the diverging European positions on sanctioning Russian energy resources and the likelihood of a gas embargo?
Is there a European energy crisis and how can governments soften its impact on the economy?
Would a consumer price cap be a better response than a further curtailment of Russian exports?
Is the EU’s drive to boost gas storage an effective preventative measure?
What is the role of other players, such as the US, OPEC and Northern Africa?
This event is part of Chatham House’s ongoing work on The Future of Conflict.
As with all Chatham House member events, questions from members drive the conversation.