| 15 April 2024, Monday |

Ukraine’s Zelenskiy says Europe must avoid division, set low price for Russia’s oil

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the president of Ukraine, urged Europeans on Friday to stand together against Russia’s conflict and severely restrict the price of Russian oil.

“We must maintain the fact that Europeans are not divided or schismatic. This is our top priority this year “In a speech delivered via a live video link to a conference in Lithuania, Zelenskiy said.

“Europe is helping itself. It’s not helping Ukraine to stand against Russia, this is helping Europe to stand against Russian aggression”, he added.

Much of Ukraine remained without heat or power after the most devastating Russian air strikes on its energy grid so far, and in Kyiv residents were warned to brace for further attacks and stock up on water, food and warm clothing.

European Union governments remained split on Thursday over what level to cap Russian oil prices at to curb Moscow’s ability to pay for the war, and Zelenskiy called on the EU leaders to settle on the lowest proposal of $30.

“The price cuts are very important. We hear about (proposals to set the cap per barrel at) $60 or $70. Such words sound more like a concession (to Russia)”, Zelesnkiy said.

“But I’m very grateful to our Baltic and Polish colleagues for their proposals, quite reasonable ones, to set this camp at $30 per barrel. It’s a much better idea”, he added.

The EU states failed to reach a deal on the price level for Russian sea-borne oil on Wednesday because a Group of Seven nations (G7) proposal for a cap of $65-70 per barrel was seen as far to high by some and too low by others.

Poland wants the cap to be set at $30, arguing that with Russian production costs that some estimate at $20 per barrel, the G7 proposal would allow Moscow too much profit. Lithuania and Estonia back Poland.

  • Reuters