EU 'moving in the direction' of Russian oil embargo - Ryan

Eamon Ryan says the bloc is trying to 'turn off the tap of money that goes to Russia'
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.09 3 May 2022

Share this article

EU 'moving in the direction' o...

EU 'moving in the direction' of Russian oil embargo - Ryan

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.09 3 May 2022

Share this article

The Energy Minister says the European Union is moving in the direction of an oil embargo on Russia.

Eamon Ryan was speaking after an emergency meeting of EU energy ministers on Monday.

Ministers say they took stock of "possible additional actions in terms of security of supply, gas transit and management of gas stocks".


They also welcomed "rapid progress" of negotiations on gas storage regulations, which they hope to conclude shortly.

Ministers also exchanged analyses on preparedness for a possible disruption of supply.

This included solidarity measures, and possible emergency measures to strengthen and better coordinate the exchange of information - particularly around national consumption levels.

Minister Ryan told Newstalk Breakfast further sanctions have yet to be agreed.

"It's probably later on in the week, it could be tomorrow rather than today.

"The sixth round of sanctions and there'll be a variety of elements to that.

"It's not finalised yet, but it's likely to include other banks... a lot of attention is on port traffic and shipping and looking at the chemicals industry".

Minister Ryan says other countries will likely be cut off by Russia, following Poland and Bulgaria's refusal to pay for gas in rubles.

"It's likely that other countries will join that list - the likes of Finland, Denmark, potentially other countries", he says.

"The exact nature of how sanctions on oil would apply is not agreed yet, so I don't expect that in the next day or two, I think it will take slightly longer.

"But we're moving in that direction, towards trying to turn off the tap of money that goes to Russia by our purchase of their fossil fuels.

"Oil will be next, gas will be more difficult.

"But what the Commission is saying, and I think they're correct, is that everyone has to comply with the sanctions.

"If we're divided on this what the Putin government will look to do... it is using energy as a weapon, it's using high energy prices as a weapon against European people.

"But it's also looking to divide and conquer".

'Alternative supplies'

He says countries are building up alternative supplies, but this will take time.

"I think the gas flow is probably much more significant, in that if that was switched off in an instant in the likes of the German and the Italian economy... it would probably switch Europe into recession.

"So what Europe and what those countries are doing is they're building up gas storage, they're building up alternative supplies.

"So if that was to happen we wouldn't be dependent on the gas - now it will take some time, so a lot of this will depend on what Mr Putin does".

Not easy 'for certain countries'

He adds that such a move would be easier for Ireland than others.

"I think certainly in Ireland, our gas and oil supplies are not dependent on Russia.

"Traditionally it might have been 2 or 3% of our gas needs, 8/10% of our oil needs - so we are able to make the switch away".

However he admits some countries, like Hungary, have issues with a total oil ban.

"They're in very different circumstances - I think Hungary has a single oil refinery which is very dependent on Russian crude and doesn't have easy alternatives.

"So there is a recognition that there are different circumstances for different countries.

"And one of the things that we do in those circumstances to protect them is say 'OK, we will transfer' or that there will be a sharing.

"It isn't easy for certain countries, and we have to make sure that the sanctions don't damage Europe more than Russia.

"But we are moving towards including oil in the sanctions, I think it'll still take a certain amount of time".

EU 'moving in the direction' of Russian oil embargo - Ryan

00:00:00 / 00:00:00


Main image: Eamon Ryan is seen at an informal meeting of EU energy and transport ministers in September 2021 in Slovenia. Picture by: European Union

Share this article

Read more about

EU Energy Ministers Eamon Ryan European Union Newstalk Breakfast Oil Embargo Russia Russian Sanctions Sanctions Ukraine

Most Popular