Germany has announced it will phase out Russian oil supplies, as the West ramps up pressure on the Kremlin following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The West is now targeting Russian energy supplies as conflict in Ukraine closes in on its third month.
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has unveiled plans to halve Russian oil imports by the summer and to completely shut out supplies by the end of the year.
She suggested joint European action was imminent, and that “gas will follow” as part of a collective continental plan to phase out Kremlin-backed energy supplies.
The US has already banned Russian oil imports, while the UK plans to phase out Russian oil by the end of the year.
Nevertheless, the decision is something of a surprise, with the European Union seemingly split over the prospect of an oil ban – with Germany formerly being one of several leading nations opposing the measure.
Currently, Germany buys a quarter of its oil and half its natural gas from Russia, and has warned it could face a recession if supplies suddenly stopped.
It even triggered emergency measures earlier this month to manage gas supplies amid fears of supply shortages.
The move will be a blow to The Kremlin, with 60 per cent of its oil exports going to Europe.