BRUSSELS -- Ireland's foreign minister says the European Union should consider imposing sanctions on Russia's oil industry but cautions that it's most important for the 27-nation bloc to remain unified.
Several EU countries are dependent on Russian oil and gas imports. After much debate, the bloc agreed last week to a phase in of restrictions on imports of coal over Moscow's war on Ukraine.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney says that "we need to take a maximalist approach to sanctions to offer the strongest possible deterrents to the continuation of this war and brutality."
Speaking as EU foreign ministers gathered Monday in Luxembourg, Coveney said "that should include, in our view, oil. We know that that's very difficult for some member states and we have to keep a united position across the EU."
The EU's executive arm, the European Commission, is assessing what more can be done with a fresh package of sanctions.
Coveney says "the European Union is spending hundreds of millions of euros on importing oil from Russia. That is certainly contributing to financing this war. And in our view, we need to cut off that financing of war."