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France is 'ready' to ban Russian oil after train station massacre

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Police inspect the remains of a Russian rocket that killed scores at the Kramatorsk railway station in eastern Ukraine. (Photo by Andrea Carrubba/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Police inspect the remains of a Russian rocket that killed scores at the Kramatorsk railway station in eastern Ukraine. (Photo by Andrea Carrubba/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
  • France is "ready" to ban Russian oil after dozens were killed in an attack on a train station in Ukraine, the French finance minister told CNN. 
  • "As France is concerned we stand ready to go further and to decide a ban on oil," Bruno Le Maire said. 
  • Le Maire said barring Russian oil would be a "game-changer."
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

France is "ready" to ban Russian oil after Ukrainian officials said dozens of evacuating civilians were killed in a Russian rocket attack on a train station, according to France's finance minister. 

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told CNN on Friday that those responsible for the "massacre" that left scores of people dead at the Kramatorsk train station in eastern Ukraine must be "identified, prosecuted and possibly convicted for these crimes."

"As France is concerned, we stand ready to go further and to decide a ban on oil, and I'm deeply convinced that the next steps and the next discussions will focus on this question of the ban on Russian oil," Le Maire told the news outlet. 

Le Maire noted that barring Russian oil would be a "game-changer," but explained that the backing of the 27-nation European Union would be needed to impose harsher sanctions on Russia's money-making energy sector. 

The current EU sanctions against Russia are "the most heavy since the creation of the European Union," Le Maire said. 

European Union countries this week agreed to ban Russian coal imports as part of a new package of sanctions against Russia over its unprovoked six-week war with Ukraine

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said this week that an EU import ban on Russian coal would cost Russia $4.4 billion per year.

Russia was the world's third-largest exporter of coal in 2020, according to the International Energy Agency. 

The latest round of EU sanctions do not target natural gas or oil imports from Russia. 

"How much longer will Europe ignore the need to impose an embargo on oil supplies from Russia? This is a matter of security in all senses of the word — from environmental to military," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Friday in a virtual address to the parliament of Finland.

The European Commission said on Friday that it and the European External Action Service are working on additional proposals for possible sanctions against Russia, "including on oil imports, and are reflecting on some of the ideas presented by Member States, such as taxes or specific payments channels, such as an escrow account."

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