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MEPs vote for an immediate embargo on Russian oil and natural gas imports

The European Parliament passed a resolution today calling for an immediate full embargo on Russian oil, coal, nuclear fuel, and gas imports.

Additional punitive measures against Russia were called for in the resolution, which received 513 votes in favor.

MEPs also stated that a complete embargo should be accompanied by plans to ensure the EU's energy security.

According to MEPs, the plan should include a strategy to "roll back sanctions in case Russia takes steps towards restoring Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and within its internationally recognised borders and completely removes its troops from the territory of Ukraine."

MEPs have also urged EU leaders to keep Russia out of the G20 and other multilateral organizations such as the UN Human Rights Council, Interpol, the World Trade Organization, UNESCO, and others.

MEPs warned that this would be a "important sign that the international community will not return to business as usual with the aggressor state," and that existing sanctions should be fully and effectively implemented throughout the EU as a matter of priority.

MEPs have also demanded that Russian banks be removed from SWIFT, that all Russian-linked vessels be barred from entering EU territorial waters and docking at EU ports, and that road freight transport from and to Russia and Belarus be prohibited.

Parliamentarians have also demanded the seizure of all assets owned by Russian officials or oligarchs linked to Putin's regime, as well as their "proxies and strawmen, as well as those in Belarus linked to Lukasheka’s regime."

MEPs have also demanded that Belarusian sanctions mirror those imposed on Russia in order to "close any loopholes allowing Putin to use Lukashenka’s aid to circumvent sanctions."

MEPs have said the atrocities "undeniably amount to war crimes" committed by Russian troops, and have called for the perpetrators to be held accountable and a special UN tribunal to be established as images of dead civilians in Bucha circulated on social media.

The Parliament also stated that weapons deliveries to Ukraine must continue and be increased in order to "allow Ukraine to effectively defend itself." MEPs also support "further defensive aid given to the Ukrainian armed forces individually by EU Member States and collectively through the European Peace Facility," as well as "further defensive aid given to the Ukrainian armed forces individually by EU Member States and collectively through the European Peace Facility."

Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt, speaking in the European Parliament yesterday, demanded that the European Council impose tougher sanctions on Russia, saying that current measures "cannot work."

MEP Verhofstadt condemned the current round of sanctions in an impassioned speech, warning that "progressive packages of sanctions with an autocrat doesn’t work."

"That works with a democracy, with democrats who have a public opinion… in Russia, there is no longer a real public opinion," Verhofstadt stated.

"It is ridiculous," MEP Verhofstadt said in response to the EU's fifth sanctions package, which includes restrictions on Russian coal imports. "Coal is only 3% of imports from Russia."

MEP Verhofstadt revealed that "more than 50% of the financial institutions are still outside the ban" after several Russian banks were removed from SWIFT.

"You need to tackle the 6,000 people around Putin, the real people working with Putin," he said, adding, "It’s time to change your strategy."



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