Responding to the European Council’s announcement to stop importing oil and gas from Russia by 2027, Tara Connolly, Senior Gas Campaigner at Global Witness, said:

"The people of Ukraine do not have the luxury of waiting five years for the EU to wean itself off Russian oil and gas. Every day Russian fossil fuels flow into Europe is another day vast sums of money flow into the Kremlin’s coffers and fuel its brutal war against Ukraine.

"EU leaders must listen to the people of Ukraine and agree immediate sanctions on the Russian fossil fuel industry and a rapid transition off all fossil fuels through a massive deployment of insulation and renewables. This must come with an unprecedented package of support to tackle the spiralling energy poverty crisis in Europe."

Yesterday, in an op-ed published across major European outlets including Der Spiegel, Le Monde, The Guardian and Die Presse, President Zelenskyy’s top economic advisor Oleg Ustenko called on EU leaders and the wider international community to announce an “immediate embargo” on Russian oil.  

The Council conclusions also call for “further developing a hydrogen market for Europe” as a tool to reduce energy dependence. With 99% of hydrogen in Europe produced from fossil gas and coal, a push towards hydrogen in response to the crisis risks locking Europe into the need for more gas, and would make it harder to reduce Russian gas imports.