European Politicians Suggest Russian Gas Embargo After Alleged Massacre in Ukraine

Belarus employees work at the Yamal-Europe gas transfer station near town of Nesvizh, some

European politicians have floated the idea of an embargo on Russian gas after accusing the Russians of being behind an alleged massacre of civilians in the suburbs of Kyiv, but not all countries agree with the proposal.

Enrico Letta, leader of the Italian left-wing Democratic Party suggested that his country place an embargo on the import of Russian oil following the alleged massacre of civilians in Bucha on the outskirts of Kyiv saying, “How many Bucha [are] needed before moving to a full oil and gas embargo from Russia? Time is up.”

Italy depends on Russia for around half of its supplies of natural gas, as natural gas, in turn, accounts for around half of the energy needs in the country. The ongoing crisis in Ukraine has led to speculation that the government may be forced to engage in the rationing of gas.

The invasion and resulting energy issues have also been partially responsible for a surge in inflation in Italy, which in March was at levels not seen since the Gulf War in 1991.

Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė of Lithuania has also proposed an embargo, saying that her country will refuse Russian imports saying, “From now on our country will not consume a single cubic centimetre of Russian toxic gas,” newspaper Il Giornale reports.

Lithuania also made moves to throw out the Russian ambassador to their country over the alleged massacre, which has been labelled a war crime by several world leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden.

Later, both Latvia and Estonia also agreed to an embargo on Russian gas and all three Baltic nations have urged the European Union members to follow their lead and stop importing gas supplies from the Russian Federation.

While some countries are pushing for a gas embargo, others are far more hesitant, including Germany which also relies on Russian imports for much of its energy needs.

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner stated that while he believed Russia must face consequences over the alleged massacre, a gas embargo would hurt his country.

“We must plan tough sanctions, but gas cannot be substituted in the short term,” Lindner said and added, “We would inflict more damage on ourselves than on them.”

Austria has also rejected the idea of an embargo, with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer stating that an embargo was “out of the question” during a television interview. Austria also heavily relies on Russian natural gas to meet its energy needs.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.