Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been going on for 141 days. The European Union is preparing the seventh package of sanctions against Moscow, but the restrictions on Russian gas will not be included in it, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said in an interview with the Reuters Agency. He explained that too many Member States are not able to adapt to such restrictions quickly enough.
The czech republic in July they began the presidency of the Council of the European Union. Petr Fiala reported that the European Commission finalizes work on the proposal for the seventh package of sanctions against the Russia in connection with the invasion of Ukraine. “The seventh (sanctions) package is in preparation and I think that is good news,” he said.
The seventh package of sanctions against Russia
At the same time, he admitted that “it is certainly problematic to include energy in sanctions, because the principle that sanctions should affect Russia more than countries that impose sanctions must be respected.”
The head of government in Prague added that “there is no chance” of including gas in the seventh package of sanctions. “I don’t think it should be there because many countries are dependent on Russian gas,” explained Fiala.
In his opinion, the new sanctions package is likely to include a ban on the import of gold from Russia, expand the list of dual-use goods that are banned from exporting to Russia, and expand the list of people subject to sanctions.
Fiala added that the European Commission should be ready to present the package in the coming days, after which Member States could approve it immediately.
Russian gas supplies to Europe
The latest sanctions are prepared in the face of growing concerns about gas supplies in Europe. Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the share of gas supplies from Moscow to the EU countries was 40 percent.
Meanwhile – as previously reported by the Reuters Agency – Russia limited or cut off gas supplies to 12 EU countries. In addition, the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, through which Russian gas flows to, is shut down due to maintenance work German. The break is expected to last until July 21. EU governments are concerned, however, that Russia may be delaying the resumption of gas transit.
Petr Fiala said that Europe must be prepared for the possibility that supplies via Nord Stream 1 will not be resumed, therefore alternative sources of gas supply should be sought. In his opinion, the Old Continent must also be ready to share supplies.
He also assured that the Czechs are doing everything they can to reduce their dependence on supplies from Russia, “but it will not happen this winter”.
Main photo source: EPA / SERGEI ILNITSKY