Putin calls EU sanctions on Russian oil “economic suicide”

Russian President Vladimir Putin opposed the European Union’s proposed sanctions on the purchase of Russian oil exports, arguing that adopting such a policy would lead to “economic suicide” for Western European countries.

In a speech aired on Tuesday, Putin responded to the EU’s proposed oil embargo on Russia, which stagnated last week, as a small group of EU member states refused to support such measures.

“Obviously, some EU countries with particularly high energy balances in Russia’s hydrocarbons will not be able to do this for a long time to throw away our oil,” Putin said.

“Of course, such economic suicide is the internal affairs of European countries,” he continued.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, the EU has tightened economic sanctions on the Russian Federation to block oxygen to the Russian economy and undermine Russia’s ability to continue its war.

However, European institutions suffer from a fundamental asymmetry among their members regarding the difference in Russia’s dependence on fuel.

Fuel embargoes will not be so devastating to France, which has significantly developed its nuclear infrastructure over the last decade and has allowed the hexagonal republic to become highly independent of Russian fossil fuels.

In contrast, the small Central European countries of Hungary and Slovakia are both reluctant to approve oil embargoes because they rely heavily on Russia’s fuel exports. The two countries demanded an exemption from the EU’s oil embargo, arguing that Russia’s oil export embargo would devastate its economy. This is a concern reflected in Putin’s recent remarks.

Germany, which is also heavily dependent on Russia’s fuel exports, has been shaken by the issue of Russia’s oil embargo, but the country under Prime Minister Helmut Kohl has recently expressed support for the embargo. Since the recent intensification of the Russian-Ukrainian war, German policymakers have been working hard to find alternatives to Russian fossil fuels. At the end of last month, German Energy Minister Robert Habeck announced that Russia’s exports accounted for about 12% of Germany’s oil supply, down from about one-third at the beginning of the war.

Nicholas Dringer


Nicholas Dolinger is a business reporter for The Epoch Times and author of the “The Beautiful Toilet” podcast.