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EU executive proposes phased ban on Russian oil

04.05.2022 11:00
European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday said the European Union's executive was proposing a phased embargo on Russian oil as part of a new package of sanctions on Moscow over its war in Ukraine.
Ursula von der Leyen (centre) speaks to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, on Wednesday.
Ursula von der Leyen (centre) speaks to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, on Wednesday.Photo: EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

The EU's chief executive also announced measures against high-ranking Russian military officials and steps to sanction more Russian banks, news agencies reported.

"Today, we will propose to ban all Russian oil from Europe," von der Leyen told the European Parliament in Strasbourg as she outlined the EU's sixth package of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

"This will be a complete import ban on all Russia," she added.

The Commission's plan includes phasing out supplies of Russian crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of 2022, while minimising the impact on European economies, the Reuters news agency reported.

"We are addressing our dependency on Russian oil," von der Leyen said, as quoted by Reuters. "And let's be clear, it will not be easy because some member states are strongly dependent on Russian oil, but we simply have to do it."

Putin 'must pay ... a high price for his brutal aggression'

She told European lawmakers that Russian President Vladimir Putin "must pay a price, a high price, for his brutal aggression."

The latest round of EU sanctions would hit Sberbank, "by far Russia's largest bank," and two other major banks "systemically critical to the Russian financial system and Putin's ability to wage destruction," according to von der Leyen.

All these banks would be excluded from the international SWIFT messaging system.

"This will solidify the complete isolation of the Russian financial sector from the global system," von der Leyen said, as quoted by Reuters.

Von der Leyen also said more high-ranking Russian military officials would face EU asset freezes and travel bans while Russian broadcasters would be banned from European airwaves as part of the new sanctions package, Reuters reported.

'Recovery package' for Ukraine

In her speech to EU lawmakers, von der Leyen proposed that the bloc start working on "an ambitious recovery package" for Ukraine.

"This package should bring massive investment to meet the needs and the necessary reforms," she said.

The EU executive's proposals need to be approved by the 27 member states before they can take effect.


Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters