Fine Gael’s Colm Markey has called on EU leaders to stop dragging their feet and immediately ban all oil imports from Russia.
Speaking ahead of the EU Summit in Brussels, the Midlands-North-West MEP said leaders have a moral responsibility to do the right thing and deny Putin the revenue he needs to fund the brutal war in Ukraine.
“Every day the EU pays an estimated €265m to Russia for oil. EU cash is ensuring that Putin’s war chest continues to grow and bombs continue to rain down on innocent people.
I am urging EU leaders to do what’s morally right and end these payments today. We need an immediate embargo on all Russian energy and anything less would be a cop-out. One day, our grandchildren will ask what we did to end this war. It would be a travesty to say that EU leaders couldn’t come together to agree a common approach.
Yes, there will be economic consequences but we simply can’t bury our heads in the sand anymore. Last April, I joined my Fine Gael colleagues in the European Parliament to vote for an immediate full embargo on Russian imports of oil, coal, nuclear fuel and gas, accompanied by a plan to ensure the EU’s security of energy supply. We must act now to cut ties with the Russian regime and speed up the transition to renewables”, he commented.
Markey said he hoped agreement is also reached on tackling global food insecurity.
“The war in Ukraine is leading to a further deepening of global food insecurity and the repercussions are already being felt at home and in some of the world’s poorest countries. Ukraine is often described as Europe’s breadbasket but some 20 million tonnes of wheat is currently stuck in the country due to the Russian blockade in the Black Sea. We need to find alternatives ways to get the wheat out, either by road or rail as a matter of urgency. Russia cannot be allowed to use food as a weapon of war”, he concluded.