Wednesday, April 24, 2024

European Union unveils plan to ban Russian oil imports

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen unveiled a sixth set of proposed EU sanctions against Russia Wednesday morning.

Von der Leyen said the EU would seek to end its dependency on Russian oil, a major source of revenue for the Kremlin. Crude oil would be phased out in six months and refined products by the end of 2022, she said.

Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, and two others, Credit Bank of Moscow and the Russian Agricultural Bank, would be disconnected from the international payments messaging system Swift.

Three big state-owned Russian broadcasters – described by von der Leyen as “mouthpieces that amplify Putin’s lies – would be cut off from the EU on cable, satellite and the internet.

Fifty-eight Russians would be sanctioned, including those von der Leyen said had committed war crimes in Bucha and conducted the siege of Mariupol.

But there were no proposals to end the import of Russian natural gas, which analysts say EU members would find harder to replace with alternative sources. Like oil, gas is also a key source of income for Moscow.

The proposal require unanimous approval from member states before they can come into effect.

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