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EU not to ban Russian oil like US: Josep Borrell exclusive

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EU not to ban Russian oil like US: Josep Borrell exclusive

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In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union and Vice President of EU Commission, confirmed that the EU will not impose a ban on Russian oil and gas because of its heavy dependence. Further, he mentioned that NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) will not be intervening in Ukraine since it's not a member nation.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to a series of financial sanctions on the country. As a retaliatory move against the war waged by Russia, the US, on Tuesday, also imposed an immediate ban on Russian oil and other energy imports. Britain too said that it will phase out its imports by the year-end. The European Union, however, did not join the bandwagon, due to its heavy dependence on Russian oil and gas supplies.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union and Vice President of EU Commission, confirmed that the EU will not impose a ban on Russian oil and gas because of its heavy dependence. He explained that the import of Russian oil forms a small part for the US and the country almost doesn’t need it but that’s not the case for the EU as Russia is a big supplier of energy over here.
Borrell clarified that EU is expressing its displeasure on Russia by imposing sanctions on its financial sector, freezing its assets and reserves but not contemplating a ban on Russian energy as yet.
“Russia, for us, is a big supplier of energy. We are putting our sanctions on the financial sector; we have frozen assets, we have frozen reserves, but we are not acting against the Russian oil and gas,” he said.
Borrell is aware that Russia could retaliate by cutting off oil supplies but it’s a chance they will have to take. He, however, clarified that the EU is working to drastically reduce its import of Russian gas and will be reducing Russian energy consumption by two-thirds by the year-end.
“We understand that Russia can retaliate certainly, but we are taking measures and we are going to drastically reduce the import of Russian gas. We are taking measures, looking for other people that can supply gas by LNG, shipments. We are substituting gas with other sources, developing quicker our renewables," he said.
"In any case, we were going to be rid of the Russian gas all over the world because we are in a green transition, but we are going to accelerate this green transition in order to consume less Russian gas. By the end of the year we will have reduced by 2/3rd the amount of Russian gas that we are consuming,” he added.
Borrell once again reiterated that The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will not intervene unless a member nation is attacked. NATO will defend the first inch of NATO territory and hence will not intervene in Ukraine as it is not a member.
“NATO has already said that they will defend the first inch of NATO territory, but they will not be intervening directly, sending troops to Ukraine because Ukraine is not a member of NATO – that makes the attack of Russia even more unjustified. Ukraine is not a member of NATO. NATO is not an offensive alliance," Borrell explained
"There are no arms of NATO in the soil of Ukraine; there is no western presence in the soil of Ukraine. Ukraine was not a threat to Russia, but we will not intervene directly unless one member of NATO is attacked,” he clarified.
For more details, watch the accompanying video 
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