Many of the European Union’s 27 member states are heavily dependent on Russian energy imports, prompting Kyiv’s criticism that the bloc did not move fast enough to halt supplies.
Hungary stuck to its demands on Monday for energy investments before agreeing to such a ban, and clashed with European Union countries that lobbied for a quick approval of the punitive measure. The European Union has offered up to 2 billion euros ($2.14 billion) to countries in central and eastern Europe that lack non-Russian supplies.
“We will reach a breakthrough within days,” German Economy Minister Robert Habeck told ZDF television.
He added that the European Commission and the United States are working in parallel on a proposal to reduce global oil prices.
“Obviously it is an exceptional measure, but these are exceptional times,” he said.
In another symbolic sign of Russia’s isolation, US coffee chain Starbucks became the latest Western brand to announce its withdrawal from the country on Monday.
Against the backdrop of these increasing measures aimed at isolating his country, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the Kremlin will focus on developing relations with China while cutting economic ties with the United States and Europe.
“If they (the West) want to offer something in terms of the resumption of relations, we will seriously consider whether we need it or not,” he said in a letter published on the State Department’s website.
“And since the West has now adopted the ‘dictator’s attitude’, our economic relations with China will grow faster,” he added.
Lavrov’s comments came as US President Joe Biden toured Asia, where he said he would be willing to use force to defend Taiwan against Chinese aggression – a comment that seemed to widen the boundaries of ambiguous US policy toward the self-governing island.
On the battlefront, Russia is trying to encircle Ukrainian forces and seize Lugansk and Donetsk provinces that make up the eastern Donbass region, where Moscow supports separatist forces.
Serhiy Gaidai, governor of the Lugansk region, said 12,500 Russians were trying to seize the region.
He added that the town of Severodonetsk was destroyed, but that Ukraine had forced Russian forces out of Toshkivka, to the south.
Donetsk region governor Pavlo Kirilenko told local television that the bombing was taking place along the front line, with the coal-mining town of Avdiivka targeting around the clock.
The military command of Ukraine’s Joint Task Force said that Russian forces bombed 38 districts in Donetsk and Lugansk on Monday, killing seven people and wounding six.
Gaidai, the governor of Lugansk, said that Russia was bombing the city of Severodonetsk in the Donbass from the air.
#Europe #ban #Russias #oil #days #Moscow #takes #refuge #Beijing