Diplomacy Economy Energy News in brief Russia Ukraine

EU looks to abandon Russian fuel sources due to “tectonic shift in European history”

| 2022-03-08 2 min read

EU looks to abandon Russian fuel sources due to “tectonic shift in European history”

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Calling Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “a tectonic shift in European history”, the European Union is working out how to wean itself off of imports of Russian oil, gas and coal and diversify its sources of energy while speeding up the development of renewables. Half of the gas and coal it uses and one third of oil imports come from Russian sources. The US is also working on shutting down oil imports from Russia, which make up 8% of the total.

The BBC reports that more global businesses and brands are reducing their activities on the Russian market, with a total of 230 Western companies having pulled out. IBM announced it would no longer sell technology in Russia or to its armed forces, while consumer goods firm Procter & Gamble said it will no longer invest in the market, choosing to reduce its product portfolio. Home improvement chain OBI, based in Germany, is abandoning Russia. 

Now, the Fitch credit ratings agency is following Moody’s in suspending commercial operations in Russia, and says it will comply with “all applicable sanctions” and no longer issue credit ratings, according to Al Jazeera.

Calling it a “silence regime”, Russia is promising that its forces will hold their fire Tuesday morning at 10am Moscow time to facilitate the opening of humanitarian corridors, according to Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia (as reported by Al Jazeera). That would give Ukrainians in Kyiv, Chernigov, Sumy and Mariupol the chance to flee the hostilities in those cities – now to the area of their choice. Earlier evacuation routes offered by Russia were rejected by Ukraine’s government given that most of them led to Russia or Belarus. Of the new plan, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky commented “This proposal doesn’t have any demands about the citizens being sent necessarily to Russia, into Russian territory.”

Peace talks between Russia and Ukraine – a fourth round – are scheduled for Tuesday with Monday’s having made little progress. Meanwhile, the BBC reports that Russian shelling has hampered civilians from fleeing in Kyiv, Mariupol, Sumy and Kharkiv. 

Source: BBC, Al Jazeera