The European Union is planning to completely ban the import of both crude and refined Russian oil and to forgo the import of refined oil products from the Russian Federation as part of the sixth package of sanctions.
This was announced by Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, Reuters reports..
According to von der Leyen, the European Union intends to stop the supply of Russian crude oil within six months and to prohibit the refined products import by the end of 2022.
The reluctance to introduce sanctions that would harm the economies of both the EU and Russia has withered away in recent weeks after the atrocious massacres in Ukrainian towns and renewed offensive in the East of the country.
"Putin must pay a high price for his brutal aggression. We now propose a ban on Russian oil in Europe", — Ursula von der Leyen said in her address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
If agreed upon, the embargo will follow the US and the UK who have already imposed such bans. The West covers over half of its oil and refined product needs with supplies from Russia. Currency proceedings from these operations constitute one of the largest revenue items in the Russian budget.
"Now we are addressing our dependency on Russian oil. Let us be clear: it will not be easy. Some Member States are strongly dependent on Russian oil. But we simply have to work on it", — Ms von der Leyen stressed.
Ms von der Leyen also proposed a reconstruction plan for Ukraine after the conflict is over. She said that rebuilding the country would require hundreds of billions of Euros.
"And eventually, it will pave the way for Ukraine's future inside the European Union", — Ms von der Leyen concluded.
The President of the European Commission also mentioned the following restrictions included in the sixth package of sanctions:
- restrictions against high-ranking Russian military officers and other individuals "who committed war crimes". The ban will also apply to European accountants, consultants, and political strategists working for Russian companies;
- de-SWIFTing Sberbank and several other major Russian banks — as per Ms von der Leyen, it will "solidify the complete isolation of the Russian financial sector from the global system";
- ban from broadcasting in Europe for RTR Planeta and R24.
The ambassadors of 27 EU governments are expected to accept the Commission proposal as soon as this week, which will make the decision a law.