EU Ready with Fresh Sanctions Against Russia, Targeting Oil Sector, Banks

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The European Union (EU) is expected to release today details of fresh sanctions against Russia, targeting the oil industry, banking, and disinformation campaigns.

The new sanctions will be EU’s sixth round of sanctions against Russia since its invasion of Ukraine. The bloc adopted its fifth round of sanctions against Russia in early April.

Reuters said last night that details of the new sanctions are expected to be released Wednesday (today), even as the sanctions would need to be approved by 27 member states.

“We are working on the sixth package of sanctions which aims to de-SWIFT more banks, list disinformation actors and tackle oil imports,” head of the foreign policy unit at the EU’s executive European Commission, Josep Borrell, reportedly tweeted.

The bloc has already blacklisted several Russian banks from SWIFT – the world’s key financial messaging services that enables secure transactions – and is now gearing up to add Russia’s biggest lender, Sberbank, to the exclusion list.

The new threat against Russia is coming shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a new decree on retaliatory sanctions against the West. Among the sanctions is expected to be a controversial ban on Russian oil imports by the end of this year.

European Council president Charles Michel says the sanctions are “imminent” in order to “break the Russian war machine”, Reuters said.

“Our goal is simple: we must break the Russian war machine. And I am confident that the council will imminently impose further sanctions, notably on Russian oil,” the Guardian quoted Michel as saying.

Hungary and Slovakia, in particular, remain opposed to a Russian oil ban, though the bloc has reportedly considered exemptions or some sort of timeline relief for both countries. Slovakia insists it needs up to six years to be able to replace Russian oil, while Hungary says it cannot support an oil embargo at all.

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