EU proposes banning Russian oil by the end of the year
The European Union proposed to ban Russian crude oil over the next six months and refined fuels by the end of the year, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.
“This will be a complete import ban on all Russian oil, seaborne and pipeline, crude and refined,” she said in remarks to the European Parliament. “We will make sure that we phase out Russian oil in an orderly fashion, in a way that allows us and our partners to secure alternative supply routes and minimizes the impact on global markets.”
Hungary and Slovakia, which had been opposed to a swift cut-off of Russian oil, will be granted a longer timeframe - until the end of 2023 - to enforce the sanctions, according to people familiar with the matter.
The EU is also proposing to cut off Sberbank and other lenders from the international SWIFT payment system, von der Leyen said.
The EU’s 27 member states will meet on Wednesday to discuss - and potentially approve - the proposal. This would be the bloc’s sixth set of sanctions targeting Russia.
The move dramatically increases the stakes with Moscow as the EU, the single largest consumer of crude and fuel from Russia, seeks to pressure President Vladimir Putin over his war in Ukraine. In 2019, almost two-thirds of the bloc’s crude oil imports came from Russia.
Von der Leyen also proposed banning three big Russian state-owned broadcasters from EU airwaves, and sanctions against high-ranking military officers and other individuals who committed alleged war crimes in Bucha and who are carrying out “the siege of Mariupol.”
The package would also include banning the services of “accountants, consultants and spin doctors from Europe” to Russian companies, von der Leyen said.
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