European leaders agree to partial embargo on Russian oil imports in latest round of sanctions

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European Union leaders agreed on Monday to partially cut Russian oil imports in the sixth round of sanctions against the country since Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine in February.

The deal will still allow imports by pipeline but ban any Russian oil brought in by sea, cutting into “a huge source of funding for its war machine”, EU Council President Charles Michel wrote on Twitter.

The sanctions package covers around two-thirds of all oil imported from Russia.

Ukrainian protesters demand an embargo on Russian oil during a protest outside EU institutions ahead of an extraordinary meeting of EU leaders to discuss Ukraine, energy and food security at the building Europa in Brussels, Monday May 30, 2022.
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Ukrainian protesters demand an embargo on Russian oil during a protest outside EU institutions ahead of an extraordinary meeting of EU leaders to discuss Ukraine, energy and food security at the building Europa in Brussels, Monday May 30, 2022.
(AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

French President Emmanuel Macron has said 90% of Russian oil imports will be banned by the end of this year.

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Europe gets around 40% of its natural gas and 25% of its oil from Russia, although some countries are more dependent on Russia for their energy.

This sixth round of sanctions was originally announced in early May, but was delayed for weeks due to concerns from Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and other countries about where they would turn to. oil.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday welcomed the EU deal but said ‘in the event of an accident with the pipeline’ Hungary would need ‘the right to obtain Russian oil from other sources’ .

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed European leaders in a video message, saying “Russia must feel a much higher price for its aggression.”

“The key point is, of course, oil. I think Europe will have to give up Russian oil and oil products anyway,” Zelenskyy said. “And the sooner that happens, the more complete the abandonment of Russian oil, the greater the benefit for Europe itself in the end.”

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears on a screen as he addresses the audience in Kyiv on a screen during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Monday, May 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears on a screen as he addresses the audience in Kyiv on a screen during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Monday, May 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

The sixth round of sanctions will also cut off Russian bank Sberbank from the SWIFT international payment system, ban three other Russian public broadcasters and punish more individuals responsible for war crimes in Ukraine, according to the EU Council president.

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The United States banned all Russian oil imports in March, just weeks after Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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