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Austria rules out sanctions on Russian oil and gas: It would affect us more than the Russians

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“We are very dependent on Russian gas and I think that all sanctions that would affect us more than the Russians would not be good for us (…) That is why we oppose sanctions on oil and gas,” Magnus said. Brunner told reporters ahead of the Eurogroup meeting, attended by eurozone members in Luxembourg, News.ro reports.

Brunner’s remarks came just hours after French President Emmanuel Macron called for new sanctions on coal and oil while speaking on France Inter radio. Belgian Finance Minister Vincent Van Peteghem also said that Belgium does not oppose such targeted action.

The EU has already imposed four rounds of sanctions on Moscow, and talks are underway to introduce a fifth package in the context of Russian soldiers executing civilians in the Ukrainian cities they occupy.

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Brunner described the actions as “extremely horrible”, but said he “must remain calm” when it comes to sanctions. However, Vienna will continue to target Russian oligarchs, he said.

“If the sanctions affect you more, I don’t think this is the right way,” he said.

Nothing is ruled out by the European Commission, Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis told reporters after being asked if oil would be included in the next package of sanctions.

Ministers will discuss on Monday the economic consequences of the war in Ukraine and how current and future sanctions would have an impact on economic growth. The Commission is scheduled to publish the next round of economic forecasts at the end of May.

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“Our current assessment is that the implications of the war in Ukraine will be a substantial slowdown in economic growth within the EU, but will not be a recession,” Dombrovskis said.

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