War in Ukraine: European Commission proposes complete ban on Russian oil within 6 months

The European Commission (EC) on Wednesday proposed a complete ban on Russian oil, excluding new Russian banks from the Swift interbank network and a ban on Russian media broadcasting in Europe, as part of sanctions against a sixth train bloc. Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine more than two months ago.

The EC’s proposal, which must be ratified by 27 member states before it can take effect, represents a turning point for the 27, which has so far failed to agree on an oil embargo. Russian fossil fuels due to the huge dependence of several countries on Russia.

Putin will have to pay a high price for his brutal aggression against Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin, European Union President Ursula von der Leyen said while presenting the new sanctions at a meeting of the European Parliament. In Strasbourg.

“We will gradually cut off the supply of crude oil and refined products by the end of the year in six months,” Ursula von der Leyen announced. “It will be a complete ban on all Russian oil supplied by sea.” Through the pipeline, crude or refined “.

“It will not be easy because some member states are heavily dependent on Russian oil. But we have to do it,” he said. Although European diplomats suggested on Monday that disregard for the sanctions could be considered for Hungary and Slovakia, the countries that rely heavily on Russian oil, in the form of a waiver or a long transition period, did not mention the incident to the commission’s president. In his speech.

Reluctance, despite possible discounts

A European source, however, said the EC was proposing that Hungary and Slovakia continue to purchase crude oil by the end of 2023, a development aimed at protecting the United Front that Europe has so far maintained. A spokesman for the Hungarian government later insisted in an email to Reuters on Wednesday that the Brussels executive’s offer did not guarantee Hungary’s energy security.

For his part, the Czech Minister of Industry and Trade, Joseph Sikela, judged that there was a lack of a proposal for a process commission aimed at redistributing the restrictions created by the ban.

“The proposal does not specify (…) how the missing volumes will be distributed fairly to share this burden, and it also lacks joint purchase and distribution proposals,” he told Reuters on the sidelines. ‘At a conference. “It’s still under consideration but for me it’s a problem,” he said.

Assistance plan for the reconstruction of Ukraine

In addition to oil, the new set of sanctions proposed by the commission targets the Russian banking sector, excluding the first Russian bank and two other Russian “systemic” banking groups, Sberbank’s SWIFT interbank network. According to a European source, it will be the Credit Bank of Moscow and the Russian Agricultural Bank.

“This will strengthen the complete isolation of the Russian financial system from the world system,” said Ursula von der Leyen. To combat the “confusion” organized by Moscow, the commission also proposed banning three Russian public television channels from broadcasting in European space, underlining Ursula von “via cable, via satellite, on the Internet or through applications on smartphones”. Der Leyen.

When the EC president did not give details about the channels concerned, the diplomats mentioned RTR-Planeta and R24. New high-ranking Russian military officials will also be added to the “black list” of targeted individuals by separate sanctions in the form of access to European territory and seizure of assets.

In addition to these sanctions, Ursula von der Lane suggested launching a massive aid program for the reconstruction of Ukraine after the war. “Ultimately, this plan will pave the way for Ukraine’s future within the European Union,” he stressed.

The 27 ambassadors to the European Union should meet this weekend to decide on this new set of sanctions.

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