Germany reverses position on total embargo on Russian oil

Germany was, until recently, a notable holdout to the EU's plan to cut off Russian oil completely.

Updated: April 28, 2022 - 12:28pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Links

German government officials said Thursday that they are ready to stop purchasing oil from Russia.

The move was first report in the Wall Street Journal, with Germany being one of the few European holdouts in objecting to the sanctioning of the EU's significant oil trade with Russia, which in late February invade Ukraine.

But on Wednesday, German representatives to the EU lifted the country's opposition to a full Russian oil embargo, as long as their country is given enough time to secure alternative supply plans. 

Germany reportedly changed its mind on the complete embargo when its government struck a deal with Poland to import oil and gas from global exporters via a port in the Baltic Sea. Prior to the war, Germany relied on Russian imports for about 35% of its oil imports, that number now sits at about 12%.

The EU is currently trying to figure out ways to assist Poland and Bulgaria make up for the fuel shortage they are experiencing following Russia's stoppage in deliveries this week. The Kremlin is, at present, insisting that EU fuel buyers pay into special bank accounts in which euros and dollars are converted to rubles, which Poland and Bulgaria refused to do. 

The EU pays Russian companies just over $1 billion a day for energy, according to estimates from think tank Bruegel.