EU's decision on the sixth package of sanctions will affect Russian economic development and prosperity, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said during a press conference Tuesday following an extraordinary European Council meeting.
"The sanctions have a clear objective, to get Russia to end this war and withdraw its troops and come to an agreement with Ukraine on a reasonable and fair peace,“ Scholz said in Brussels.
About 90 percent of oil imports to Europe is covered by the embargo. An exception for pipeline oil being delivered to some countries in Europe enabled a joint agreement, Scholz explained. "This was important because the transitional measures that these countries have to take have not been able to be finalized so quickly,“ he said.
Germany and Poland are continuing their efforts to become independent of Russian oil by the end of the year, the German chancellor said.
A Europe-wide gas embargo is not yet within reach as many countries will remain dependent on Russian gas much longer than Germany, Scholz said. "Germany is rapidly becoming independent of gas imports by constructing infrastructure to enable gas imports from other countries with ships,“ he said. "Some investments will be made very quickly, so we hope that there will already be significant changes at the turn of the year, but some things will take longer. But one thing is pretty clear from my point of view: Many countries will need longer than Germany."
The German chancellor blamed Russia for the looming food crisis. "The responsibility clearly lies with Russia and its president,“ Scholz said.
Germany is working on a weapons exchange with Greece so that the country can send its tanks from former Warsaw treaty to Ukraine which will be replaced German infantry fighting vehicles, Scholz announced.