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The European Union has agreed in principle to cut oil imports by 90% from Russia by the end of 2022, after settling an impasse with Hungary over the sanction on Moscow.
At the end of the first day of the summit of the bloc’s 27 leaders, European Council President Charles Michel said in a tweet: “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. Maximum pressure on Russia to end the war.”
The partial ban, which covers crude and petroleum products, marks the sixth package of sanctions by the European Council on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.
The embargo contains a temporary exemption for Russian crude oil delivered via pipeline.
The EU imports two-thirds of Russian oil via tanker and one third through the Druzhba pipeline.
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Landlocked European countries, including Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, are dependent on the southern leg of the Druzhba pipeline for Russian oil imports.
The exception under the latest EU embargo provides extra time for these landlocked countries to implement measures to cut oil supplies from Russia.
The European Council said it would soon ‘revert to the issue of the temporary exception’ for Russian crude oil that is delivered by pipeline.
Michel added: “This sanctions package includes other hard-hitting measures: de-Swifting the largest Russian bank Sberbank, banning three more Russian state-owned broadcasters, and sanctioning individuals responsible for war crimes in Ukraine.”