EU Leaders Agree on partial Russian Oil Ban - Prime Minister Marin: "Significant step forward in sanctions"

EU leaders discussed new sanctions against Russia in Brussels. A political agreement on a ban on oil imports arose this morning.

EU Leaders Agree on partial Russian Oil Ban - Prime Minister Marin: "Significant step forward in sanctions"
Prime Minister Sanna Marin, the Prime Minister of Latvia Krišjānis Kariņš, and the President of the European Council Charles Michel attended the summit in Brussels. Image: All Over Press

BRUSSELS EU leaders have agreed on sanctions on oil imports from Russia. The ban applies to all Russian crude oil and other refined oil transported by sea.

According to Prime Minister Sanna Marin (sd.), It was very important that an agreement was reached on the sixth sanctions package.

- We reached a common view and remained united on an issue that has been difficult to negotiate anyway.

For the time being, the import ban does not apply to oil delivered via pipelines. However, according to Marin, up to 90 percent of Russian oil could be banned by the end of the year, when Germany and Poland stop importing Russian oil.

- It is a significant step forward in sanctions.

Hungary needs more time

Hungary, which is dependent on Russian pipeline oil, has been concerned about the impact of sanctions on the country's security of supply. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has called for the import of pipeline oil to be allowed and for guarantees that oil imports from Russia will cease.

The conclusions of the European Council do not comment on the length of the transition periods promised to Hungary or other EU countries. However, according to Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, it is good that Hungary is being given time to break away from Russian oil.

The exemption granted to Hungary will not be an exception, von der Leyen assures.

- We'll get back to you one way or another.

Part of the EU's sixth sanctions package

The decision to partially ban the import of oil is part of the EU's sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which has been negotiated for several weeks.

In addition to oil, the sixth sanctions package also hits Russian banks, state-owned media companies, and people guilty of war crimes. Among other things, Russia's largest bank, Sberbank, will be excluded from the swift payment system.

The Council, which represents the EU member states, has yet to take a formal decision on the adoption of new sanctions. The decision can be made as early as Wednesday.

- Certainly, some technical details are still being honed, but a big agreement has now been reached, which means that the oil will be covered by the import ban, Marin says.

EU leaders also backed € 9 billion in emergency financial assistance to Ukraine. According to Prime Minister Marin, the package consists mainly of grants.

The European Council continues today. EU leaders will discuss, among other things, the food crisis caused by the war in Ukraine and the EU's defense.