EU leaders back partial ban on Russian oil imports into the bloc

(EurActiv, 31 May 2022) After several weeks of drawn-out negotiations mostly stalled by Hungary, EU leaders on Monday (30 May) struck a political compromise to ban seaborne imports of Russian oil by the end of the year, but fell short of a full embargo.

Under the compromise agreed by EU leaders, the partial embargo will include oil and petroleum products but will crucially allow a temporary exemption for crude delivered by pipeline.

“This immediately covers more than 2/3 of oil imports from Russia, cutting a huge source of financing for its war machine.  Maximum pressure on Russia to end the war,” European Council President Charles Michel said.

EU ambassadors are expected to take the legal decision on Wednesday (1 June) to approve the oil embargo and the 6th Russia sanctions package, Michel told reporters after Monday’s talks.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the move “will effectively cut around 90% of oil imports from Russia to the EU by the end of the year” as Germany and Poland had committed to renouncing deliveries via a pipeline to their territory.

Since the start of Russia’s war on Ukraine, the EU has sent a total of €56.5 billion to Russia in return for fossil fuel supplies, with payments for oil reaching almost €30 billion being accounted for in crude oil supplies – money being used to fund Moscow’s invasion.

Nevertheless, the agreement falls short of the initial proposal by the European Commission, which envisioned banning all oil imports.

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EurActiv, 31 May 2022: EU leaders back partial ban on Russian oil imports into the bloc