U.S. ban may mean more Venezuelan oil for China and India
26 January 2019 | 9:30 am
- A possible move by President Donald Trump to hurt Venezuela’s oil industry could prove a shot in the arm for China and India. If the U.S. decides to deploy a slate of sanctions that it’s said to have drafted against the Latin American nation, American refiners would be forced to cease purchases.
Djeneba Belem's fried bean cake stall in Abidjan is a world away from the war raging in Ukraine. But her business is now at the mercy of an unexpected consequence: runaway palm oil prices. The conflict has helped propel prices for palm oil - ubiquitous in African dishes from Nigerian jollof rice to Ivorian sticky alloco plantains - to record highs that experts say will deepen a food-cost crisis and punish the poorest.
EU leaders are expected to present the proposed embargo later this week. Supporting the measure would be Germany's second turnaround in as many weeks with regards to Ukraine.
The oil embargo could be upheld for years, the German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said. Her Green ally Robert Habeck said complete independence from Russian oil was possible by late summer.
The European bloc is moving closer to banning Russian oil with Germany changing course to support the embargo. But many questions remain open.
As EU member states push for a Russian oil embargo, Germany's PCK Schwedt refinery is facing an uncertain future. It runs wholly on Russian imports, and many locals aren't so sure alternatives can be found in time.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Brussels are at odds again. Hungary refuses to support the planned oil embargo against Russia. But now even former allies such as Poland are turning their backs.
The 27 EU member states are deliberating a gradual ban on Russian oil imports. Some countries, such as Hungary, Slovakia and Cyprus, are concerned about the repercussions of such a move on their economies.
Hungary's government is "holding European Union decision makers hostage" by refusing to join an EU-wide embargo on Russian oil, according to Lithuania's foreign minister. This comes as EU leaders continue their efforts to gather support for a sixth sanctions package on Russia from all 27 EU member states. The government of PM Viktor Orban has claimed that an import ban on Russian oil would ruin the Hungarian economy. Lithuania's Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis tells FRANCE 24 that "Europe is weaker" as a result, and that he is "still hoping Budapest will be responsible in their decisions".
Russia's president has said banning oil imports from his country would be impossible for some dependent European states, after the EU failed to reach consensus to impose the measure.
The recent leak of a confidential US Supreme Court document has confirmed the conservative-majority court's intention to overturn Roe v. Wade, the decision that has guaranteed access to abortion throughout the United States for nearly 50 years. Such a decision would have an unprecedented impact on 75 million women of childbearing age. But at the instigation of the Republican Party, some parts of the US, such as the states of Texas and Oklahoma, are already turning into a medical desert for women who seek a termination. Our correspondents Valérie Defert and Pierrick Leurent report on the "post-Roe America".
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