BusinessDay

EU plans to ban all Russian oil imports

The European Union has announced plans to totally ban Russian crude oil for the next six months and refined fuels by the end of the year as part of the sixth round of sanctions aimed at putting more pressure on Vladimir Putin over his invasion of Ukraine.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, made this known in the European Parliament on Wednesday morning as she unveiled the bloc’s new package of measures against Russia.

The crude ban and other measures will be detailed to EU ambassadors on Wednesday and are expected to be implemented by the end of the week.

“This will be a complete import ban on all Russian oil, seaborne, and pipeline, crude and refined,” she said. “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.”

Also, she reiterates that the task will not be easy as some of E.U’s member states are dependent on Russian oil.

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“Let us be clear, it will not be easy,” she said. “Some member states are strongly dependent on Russian oil. But we simply have to work on it.”

Meanwhile, Hungary and Slovakia, which are deeply reliant on Russian energy and had opposed a sudden cut-off of oil, would be given until December 2023 to ban the fuel, according to some E. U diplomats.

In addition, von der Leyen said the Union is considering disconnecting Sberbank and other lenders from the international SWIFT payment system,

The proposal includes prohibiting more Russian broadcasters from using European airwaves and prohibiting European companies from providing services to Russian clients such as public relations consulting and accounting.

“We are fleecing the Russian economy of its ability to diversify and modernize,” the Union president said. “Putin desired to erase Ukraine from the map.” He will undoubtedly fail.

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