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Germany will support the European embargo of Russian oil, marking another significant turnaround in the nation’s position as the invasion of Ukraine continues.
Ambassadors will reportedly table the proposal at an ambassadors summit in Brussels on Wednesday, with expectations to approve the embargo by the end of next week. Germany has resisted such an embargo, but government sources told German news agency dpa on Sunday that Chancellor Olaf Scholz will back the embargo.
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Scholz previously urged caution against any outright ban over concerns of the consequences, which he believed would prove devastating to Germany’s economy and the continent as a whole.
But Germany has reportedly managed to significantly reduce its reliance on Russian oil over the past eight weeks: Germany took 35% of its energy from Russia, but has dropped that to just 12%, according to Energy Minster Robert Habeck.
The reversal from Germany, which had been one of the main opponents of the EU severing oil and gas trade with Russia, comes after Berlin struck a deal with Poland to import oil by way of one of its Baltic Sea ports, according to that report.
That would leave Italy, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Spain and Greece as the remaining holdouts who have yet to publicly support an embargo, according to DW.
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Germany has remained under immense pressure to change its various stances on Ukraine and Russia, including a hesitancy to send heavy weapons to Ukraine.
But Munich agreed to send “Gepard” anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine, with support from the German voters: around 55% of Germans now say they should supply Ukraine with such weapons.
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Scholz defended his decision to slow-roll support, saying that he finds “hasty actions and maverick German efforts questionable.”
German voters do not agree, with 54% unsatisfied with the chancellor’s handling of the crisis, Reuters reported.
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Left-leaning party members of his party continue to argue that delivering tanks and other heavy weapons will only further provoke Russia and prompt it to expand its military operations again.
A fresh wave of EU sanctions will target Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, and several high-profile Russians, the officials added.
Fox News’ Greg Norman contributed to this report.