Two EU diplomats said the blockade is inclined to impose a ban on Russian oil imports by the end of the year, following talks between the European Commission and member states over the weekend.
The European Union is preparing a sixth round of sanctions against Russia for the February 24 invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a special military operation.
The new sanctions package should target Russian, Russian and Belarusian oil banks, as well as more individuals and companies.
The commission, which is coordinating EU action, has held so-called “municipal” talks with small groups of EU countries and will aim to strengthen its sanctions plan in view of a meeting of EU ambassadors in Brussels on Wednesday.
On Monday, EU energy ministers will meet in the Belgian capital to discuss the issue.
Diplomats said some EU countries are in able to stop using oil before the end of 2022, but that other countries, in Southern members in particular are concerned about the impact on prices.
Diplomats added that Germany, a major buyer of Russian oil, appeared to be ready to agree to stop imports at the end of 2022, but there were still reserves from countries such as Austria, Hungary, Italy and Slovakia.
Some EU countries have suggested choosing a maximum price they are willing to pay for Russian oil. But the plan will force them to pay higher prices to get supplies from elsewhere.
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