EU leaders agree to ban 90% of Russian oil by year-end

TEHRAN, May 31 (MNA) – European Union leaders agreed Monday to embargo most Russian oil imports into the bloc by year-end as part of new sanctions on Moscow worked out at a summit focused on Ukraine.

The embargo covers Russian oil brought in by sea, allowing a temporary exemption for imports delivered by pipeline, a move that was crucial to bring landlocked Hungary on board a decision that required consensus, KSLA reported.

EU Council President Charles Michel said the agreement covers more than two-thirds of oil imports from Russia. Ursula Von der Leyen, the head of the EU’s executive branch, said the punitive move will “effectively cut around 90% of oil imports from Russia to the EU by the end of the year.”

Michel said leaders also agreed to provide Ukraine with a 9 billion-euro ($9.7 billion) tranche of assistance to support the war-torn country’s economy. It was unclear whether the money would come in grants or loans.

The new package of sanctions will also include an asset freeze and travel ban on individuals, while Russia’s biggest bank, Sberbank, will be excluded from SWIFT, the major global system for financial transfers from which the EU previously banned several smaller Russian banks. Three big Russian state-owned broadcasters will be prevented from distributing their content in the EU.

RHM/PR

News Code 187402

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