Le Maire assured that the French Government is “trying to convince our European partners” that “we should stop importing oil from Russia in the coming weeks,” however, its possible entry into force is delayed because some countries “are still hesitating.”
“We have always said with Emmanuel Macron, that we wanted an embargo on coal, and it is already done, and one on Russian oil,” the minister stated, reiterating the importance of limiting “what has been the main sources of foreign exchange earnings for several years” for Russian President Vladimir Putin, “it’s not gas, it is oil.”
“If we are so attached to freedom and the protection of the Ukrainian people, we must go to the end of our reasoning and not finance the war” buying Russian oil, Le Maire said.
The decision does not seem so simple, as “taking steps on oil require undoing the existing contracts, looking for alternatives and preventing them from being circumvented. This will not happen overnight. It will take at least several months,” an European official said, quoted by La Tribune business newspaper, who is involved in the talks.
From Russia, Vladimir Putin already contemplated this possibility a few days ago and assured that “the deliveries to the West will decrease in the future,” so they will reorient their exports “towards the rapidly growing markets of the South and the East”, he explained on Thursday during a government meeting dedicated to the energy sector in the context of the international sanctions.