European Union leaders agree to ban most Russian oil

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This photo shows Bulgargas’ Chiren gas station in Chiren. Bulgaria. AP

Gulf Today Report

European Union leaders agreed on Monday to ban most imports of Russian oil to the 27-nation bloc.

The embargo covers Russian oil brought in by sea, allowing a temporary exemption for imports delivered by pipeline. EU Council President Charles Michel said the agreement covers more than two-thirds of oil imports from Russia. Ursula Von der Leyen, the head of the EU’s executive branch, said the move will “effectively cut around 90% of oil imports from Russia to the EU by the end of the year.”


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In an effort to punish and divide the West over its support for Ukraine, Russia has cut off natural gas to a handful of European countries. In its latest move, Russian state gas giant Gazrpom said it will halt gas supplies to Dutch gas trader GasTerra starting on Tuesday.

3D printed natural gas pipes are pictured on EU and Russian flags in this illustration. Reuters
Picture used for illustrative purposes only.


In the bloc’s toughest sanction on Moscow since the invasion of Ukraine three months ago, European Council President Charles Michel said the ban agreed at an EU summit in Brussels would immediately cover more than two-thirds of oil imports from Russia and cut a “huge source of financing for its war machine.”

The leaders said they had agreed to cut 90% of oil imports from Russia by the end of this year, with exemptions for Hungary — a landlocked country that relies heavily on crude piped from Russia — and others concerned about the ban’s economic impact.

EU leaders also agreed to cut off the largest Russian bank, Sberbank, from the SWIFT system and to ban three more Russian state-owned broadcasters, Michel added.

The announcement came as Russia pressed its attacks in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the situation remained “extremely difficult”.

 

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