TALLINN - Estonia wants to move a ban on oil products imported from Russia to an earlier date and if the decision is approved by the government, the ban would already enter into force from December 2022, Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu told Postimees.
According to currently valid European-wide sanction decisions, crude and oils obtained from bituminous minerals can be imported until Dec. 5 and other refined oil products until Feb. 5 on the condition the entrepreneur had signed their contract before June 4.
"The European Union has established a gradual transition period for sanctioning the import and transit of Russian crude oil and oil products with a deadline at the end of February next year. Due to Estonia's geographical location next to Russia and our ports, transit has nonetheless continued. It has been the position of Estonia this whole time that this should be terminated fast," the foreign minister told the newspaper.
"Considering that the Riigikogu has declared Putin's regime a terrorist regime and the war has entered a new and bloodier phase, the government made the decision in principle already last week, and I hope that a formal regulation will also be made. It means that the transition period is to be shortened -- from Dec. 5, the transit of Russian oil and oil products must be terminated completely," Reinsalu added.
The foreign minister said that he has sent on behalf of the Estonian Republic a proposal to the European Commission on a new package of sanctions that would establish comprehensively and without delay an energy sanction against Russian natural gas and oil.
Reinsalu also introduced the said positions to his French counterpart Catherine Colonna who is on a visit to Estonia.
"She took note of this information and underscored that France, too, has made its proposals for the ninth package. This model has the Commission performing the role a gatekeeper -- proposals are submitted to the Commission by the member states and the Commission will then start looking for the lowest common denominator between them," the minister said.