France is discussing oil and diesel supplies with the United Arab Emirates as it seeks alternatives to Russian energy sources, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday.
The minister said France also plans to accelerate investments in the transition to cleaner energy, such as accelerating the deployment of offshore wind farms, to increase the country’s independence.
“We are looking for substitutes for supplying gas or diesel from Russia,” Le Maire said in an interview with CNews TV and Europe1 radio.
“For example, the United Arab Emirates can be a solution, at least temporarily, to replace Russian oil and diesel. These are discussions that have already started with the United Arab Emirates.
The European Union last week approved a sixth set of sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine, which included a partial ban on Russian oil imports.
French President Emmanuel Macron said Russian oil imports to the EU would be cut by around 92% by the end of the year as a result of the deal. He also said a Russian gas embargo should not be ruled out.
Thierry Breton, EU Internal Market Commissioner, said in a separate interview with CNews and Europe1 on Sunday that Russian leader Vladimir Putin was using gas in an effort to divide Europe as he continues to wage war on Ukraine. .
“We must also get rid of gas, because Russian gas today, we must regain our autonomy as quickly as possible because Vladimir Putin does not like the European project”, declared Breton. “For years, he did everything to divide Europe. Now he is using the gas precisely to divide us.
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