Finally, EU Proposes Complete Ban on Russian Oil, Among Others

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European Commission (EU) yesterday made real the threat to officially proposed a full ban on Russian crude and oil product imports by the end of the year, as reported by Orient Energy Review.

Details of the new sanctions package released yesterday include kicking Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, and two other major banks, out of SWIFT, as well as banning three big Russian state-owned broadcasters from EU airwaves.

Addressing the European Union parliament yesterday, the EU president, von der Leyen said, “Putin must pay a high price for his brutal aggression.”

Observers noted that the new move sent oil prices rallying by more than 4% in early trade. As part of the sixth package of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, the EC is now proposing a complete ban on Russian oil imports, via any means.

The full import ban on Russia oil, which will come into force within the end of 2022, is designed to give EU member states time to phase out purchases, von der Leyen said.

“Let us be clear: it will not be easy. Some member states are strongly dependent on Russian oil. But we simply have to work on it. We now propose a ban on Russian oil. 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 minimize the impact on global markets. This is why we will phase out Russian supply of crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of the year,” the Commission president added.

“Thus, we maximise pressure on Russia, while at the same time minimising collateral damage to us and our partners around the globe,” she noted.

There had been reports that the EU could be considering exemptions from an oil embargo for countries like Hungary and Slovakia, who are highly dependent on Russian oil and Hungary has even hinted at a veto on a Russian oil ban.

However, it is hoped that the EU member states will still have to endorse the Commission’s new proposals. A source said Russian oil has become toxic for many European buyers because of their aggression in Ukraine. 

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