By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 31 May 2022 • 7:47
EU bans most Russian oil imports in sixth round of sanctions
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The agreement to stop Russian oil imports was announced on May 31 but will provide a temporary exception for those receiving oil via pipeline. That exception was agreed to appease countries like Hungary which had expressed concerns over the economic impact of any sanction.
Oil imports by sea will be banned in full affecting around 75 per cent of Russian oil imports into the EU, with the legal text of the ban being finalised and agreed upon on Wednesday. That agreement could see up to 90 per cent of all Russian oil imports being prohibited by the end of the year.
Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, told Sky News: “We want to revert to the European Council as soon as possible in order to address this temporary exception and to make sure that we will be able to target all the Russian oil.”
He continued saying: “We want to stop Russia’s war machine.
This is a remarkable achievement, which more than ever it’s important to show that we are able to be strong, that we are able to be firm, that we are able to be tough.”
The ban on oil comes as part of the sixth package of sanctions that will see Russia’s largest bank Sberbank cut off from the SWIFT global payment system, and bans three more Russian state-owned broadcasters.
Emmanuel Macron, the French president, hailed the move, saying: “As Europeans, united and in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, we are taking new decisive sanctions.”
But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said it had taken too long to agree on new sanctions in Europe with the last package introduced nearly two months ago. He did however thank Michel for his efforts in trying to find a compromise saying: “Russia must feel a much higher price for its aggression.
Russia’s Permanent Representative to international organisations in Vienna dismissed the EU ban saying on Twitter that: “Russia will find other importers.”
The EU ban on Russian oil imports will come at a cost but is according to experts necessary for the bloc to move away from unreliable suppliers and to achieve greater independence.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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