EU unveils plan to ban all Russian oil imports by end of year


uropean Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has called on the bloc to ban oil imports from Russia by the end of the year in a sixth package of sanctions targeting Moscow for its war in Ukraine.

Mrs Von der Leyen, addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg, called on the EU’s member nations to phase out imports of crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of the year.

“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 minimises the impact on global markets,” Mrs von der Leyen said.

The proposals need to be unanimously approved to take effect and are likely to be the subject of fierce debate.

She conceded that getting all 27 member countries – some of them landlocked and highly dependent on Russia for energy supplies – to agree on oil sanctions “will not be easy.”

Elsewhere, Ms von der Leyen said that Russia’s largest bank Sberbank would be disconnected from the SWIFT banking system.

She also confirmed that three unnamed state-owned Russian broadcasters will be cut off from the EU on cable, satellite or the internet, accusing them of being “mouthpieces of the state”.

“We should not give them a stage anymore to spread these lies,” she added.

A number of high-ranking Russan officiails will also face EU asset freezes and travel bans, Ms von der Leyen said. “You are not getting away with this,” she said, referring to the Kremlin.

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