The French environment and energy minister, Barbara Pompili, on Thursday said she was confident European Union member states will reach a consensus on how to end Russian oil imports by the end of this week.
“Some countries are more dependent on Russian oil than others, and so we must try to find solutions so that they can come on board these sanction,” she told France Info radio. “But I think we should be able to do it.”
France has this week hosted an emergency meeting of EU energy ministers to discuss how to deal with Moscow’s decision to halt gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland for not paying in roubles.
The EU has proposed a phased embargo of Russian oil but Europe’s complex distribution network and challenges in tracking crude may make it tricky to implement.
If implemented, the plan would take effect in six months for crude, and in eight months for diesel and other oil products.
It would follow U.S. and British oil bans and be a watershed for the world’s largest trading bloc, which remains dependent on Russian energy amid rising civilian casualties in Ukraine.