Not one day seems to pass without the EU taking an aggressive step toward comprehensive self-destruction.
Today, we learn that the "not-quite-yet-green" continent is doing everything it can to make investors in evil fossil fuels and commodity bulls even richer as after weeks of waffling, European officials are drafting plans for an embargo on Russian oil products according to the NYT, the most contested measure yet to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and a move long resisted because of its big costs for Germany and its potential to disrupt politics around the region and increase energy prices.
Having earlier this month banned Russian coal, a move which sent coal prices around the globe to all time highs, the European Union is now likely to adopt a similarly phased ban of Russian oil, E.U. officials and diplomats said, and for what reason: so politicians can signal their virtue (furthermore, the approach is designed to give Germany, in particular, time to arrange alternative suppliers and so will unlikely be implemented for a long, long time).
According to the NYT report, the earliest the proposed embargo will be put up for negotiation will be after the final round of the French elections, on April 24, to ensure that the impact on prices at the pump doesn’t fuel the populist candidate Marine Le Pen and hurt president Emmanuel Macron’s chances of re-election, officials said.
In other words, Europeans know very well just how unpopular such a measure will eventually be, but still they want to ram it through just because. The outcome will be a drop of millions of barrels in Russian supply, and much, much higher prices.
And just so European politicians - and everyone else for that matter - knows what is coming should a Russian oil embargo be triggered, oil, which was trading red on the day for unknown, opex-related reasons earlier, has soared and Brent was last seen well over $110, and on its way to wiping out all Biden SPR release losses.