Germany U-turns to support oil embargo

EURACTIV has also learned that several countries have requested to impose an oil embargo on the condition that the current contracts expire.  [Shutterstock/Avigator Fortuner]

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In today’s news from the Capitals:


Germany now favours an EU embargo on Russian oil, having previously opposed further energy sanctions against Russia, according to information obtained by several national media. Meanwhile, EURACTIV was informed that the EU is considering banning imports of oil transferred by tankers and allowing the ones through pipelines, at least for now. Read more.



French left, and ecologists join forces on Labour Day. Thousands gathered across several French cities to participate in Labour Day demonstrations on 1 May, just a week after French President Emmanuel Macron was re-elected and as parties gear up for legislative elections in June. In a symbolic move, the same day Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s La France insoumise (LFI) reached a deal with Julien Bayou’s Europe-Ecologie-Les-Verts (EELV). Read more.



Austria not under ‘immediate military threat’, says chancellor. Austria is not under an immediate military threat, conservative Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) told the newspaper Kurier with regards to the war in Ukraine. Read more.



Dutch port employees refuse to dock Russian oil tanker. Workers at the Amsterdam port refuse to unload a Russian oil tanker that was previously refused docking at a Swedish port and is now anchored in the sea lock in IJmuiden, broadcaster NOS reports. Read more.



Bank set to increase rates over inflation fears. The Bank of England is expected to increased interest rates later this week as it comes under growing pressure to address rising inflation in the UK economy. Read more.



Most Finns would accept permanent NATO presence. Most Finns would allow permanent NATO military bases on their soil ahead of the country’s possible application for NATO membership, a survey conducted by media house Uutissuomalainen found. Read more.

MEP: Finland’s mistrust towards Russia is increasing. In an interview with EURACTIV, Finnish Green MEP, Alviina Alametsä said that a majority in parliament and the public in her country are now in favour of NATO membership, for which it hopes to have “some signals and symbols of support during a possible membership application”. Read the interview.



Russian military aircraft violated Swedish airspace during NATO visit.  A Russian military aircraft violated Swedish airspace on Friday evening, the same day four NATO warships moored in Stockholm’s harbour. Read more.



Polish PM thanks nationalist Brothers of Italy party for anti-Putin stance. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of the Law and Justice Party (PiS) thanked Georgia Meloni’s nationalist Brothers of Italy party for taking a clear stance against Russian President Vladimir Putin during and before his invasion of Ukraine – marking a clear divide from the more Kremlin-friendly parties of Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz. Read more.

Italian president says recovery plan should help increase work safety. Italy’s recovery and resilience plan “should also be dedicated to increasing safety at work,” President Sergio Mattarella said at the Quirinale during the Workers’ Day celebration on Sunday, adding that creating more jobs should not translate “into more injuries at work”. Read more.



Spain requests second payment of EU funds. Spain on Friday requested €12 billion in EU funding, Economy Minister Nadia Calviño has confirmed. Read more.



Portuguese workers’ union demands minimum wage increase. The General Secretary of the Communist-backed CGTP trade union confederation on Sunday demanded measures to control prices and increase the minimum wage to €800 per month in July. Read more.



Greece to raise Turkey’s stance on Russia with EU states. The Greek government is expected to raise with its EU partners Ankara’s decision not to join western sanctions against Russia, questioning Turkey’s narrative of being a neutral broker, EURACTIV has learned. Read more. 



Poland opens new gas pipeline from Lithuania. Poland has opened a new pipeline bringing gas from Lithuania after Russia’s Gazprom stopped deliveries to the country on 27 April. Read more.



Prague pressures Budapest to change its Russia stance. Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala wants to convince his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orbán to change his stance on Russia as Hungary is among the countries willing to pay for natural gas imports in roubles – a move unacceptable for Czechia despite its heavy Russian gas dependency. Read more.



Most Slovaks oppose Russian gas import ban. More than 60% of Slovaks are not in favour of stopping Russian gas imports, while only 25% favour a gradual halt, and 7% want an immediate one, a new survey by the Focus agency has found. Read more.



Bulgaria refuses to join international investigation of Russian crimes in Ukraine. The Supreme Judicial Council has refused to nominate representatives of the Bulgarian judiciary to participate in the international commission for documenting and finding Russian crimes in Ukraine. Read more.



President says Croatia was wrong to buy French Rafales. Croatian President Zoran Milanović on Sunday criticised his country’s decision to buy 12 Rafale fighters from France because they are “useless” and not what the country needs. Read more.



Fuel prices surge after price caps end in Slovenia. On Sunday, regular petrol prices in Slovenia jumped by about 8%, and diesel became over 20% more expensive than Saturday after the government decided to end price administration. Read more.



Kosovo, Serbia negotiators to discuss license plate dispute. The chief negotiators for Kosovo and Serbia will meet in Brussels on 13 May to reach a permanent agreement on a license plate dispute after six months of previous EU-led negotiations failed to find a resolution. Read more.



Albania to go digital as of May. Albanians will have to use the government’s e-services portal from Monday to receive the vast majority of public services, including collecting copies of their birth certificates, paying taxes, and more. Read more.


  • EU: EU energy ministers meet in Brussels over fallout from Russia’s war on Ukraine / European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg starts / Commissioners Gentiloni and Dombrovskis speak to European Parliament’s Economy Committee / EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell visits the Panama Canal.
  • Germany: Indian Prime Minister Modi hosted in Berlin by Chancellor Scholz for the 6th German-Indian government consultations.
  • Hungary: Opening session of new parliament.
  • Greece: Belgium’s King Philippe, Queen Mathilde visit Athens.


[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Alexandra Brzozowski, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson]

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