As Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, nearby countries and coalitions have been seeking ways to simultaneously cut off the funds for their war effort and punish them for pursuing it. Today, the EU announced the latest of these efforts, and it could prove to be a decisive blow for the already wobbling Russian economy.
Following a European Council summit in Brussels, the leaders of the EU’s member nations agreed on a fresh package of sanctions against Russia. These sanctions include standouts such as kicking Sberbank off of the SWIFT system, banning Russian state-owned television broadcasters, and issuing individual sanctions for war crimes committed by Russian soldiers in Ukraine. One of the biggest changes, however, is a large-scale ban on the majority of Russian fuel imports.
“Agreement to ban export of Russian oil to the EU. This immediately covers more than 2/3 of oil imports from Russia, cutting a huge source of financing for its war machine,” explained European Council chief Charles Michel.
Oil deliveries from Russian tankers will be banned in the northern part of the Druzhba pipeline, which primarily serves Poland and Germany. Southern sections of the pipeline will still receive oil, as countries like Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech republic still rely on Russian oil for a large portion of their energy concerns.
In the most significant effort yet to punish Russia for its war in Ukraine, the European Union agreed to ban the overwhelming majority of Russian oil imports. https://t.co/Yx9qlrAhkL
— ABC News (@ABC) May 31, 2022
“As we have a clear political statement by Poland and Germany that they will, as the others, wind down Russian oil, until the end of the year. We have covered overall 90 percent of Russian oil being wind down during this time frame. Leftover is the roundabout 10 or 11 percent that is covered by the southern Druzhba. We have agreed for the moment being for an exemption,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
As the EU is one of the largest buyers of Russian oil in the world, this will likely be another major hit to Moscow’s coiffeurs.
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