Updated: Jul 16
Other EU members concur that the fuel will not be included in the next wave of penalties.
According to Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer on Tuesday, a ban on Russian natural gas imports as part of the upcoming round of penalties against Moscow relating to
Ukraine will not be discussed.
Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor, has also stated that the gas embargo would not be an issue, Nehammer told reporters on the margins of the second day of the EU conference in Brussels. As part of the sixth round of sanctions, the EU decided to partially prohibit Russian crude on Monday.
A gas embargo won't be a concern in the upcoming sanctions package, according to Nehammer, because "Russian oil is more easier to compensate [for]... gas is altogether different."
Regarding a prospective ban on Russian gas shipments to the union, Estonia and Belgium concur with Austria. When she arrived at the summit on Tuesday, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas told reporters that it will be challenging to impose additional sanctions on Russia because EU citizens have been impacted.
She was reported by Euronews as saying, "I think gas has to be in the seventh package, but I have to be practical and I don't think it will be there."
The EU's oil embargo against Russia was lauded by the prime minister of Belgium, Alexander De Croo, as "a tremendous step forward," but he added that he thought the bloc "should suspend it by now" because a ban on Russian gas is "far more complicated."
However, since Moscow began its military action in Ukraine, the EU has worked to lessen its reliance on Russian gas imports. When Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, and the Netherlands disobeyed Russia's demand that supplies be paid for in rubles, Russian energy giant Gazprom ceased supplying gas to those nations.