On 30 May, the European Council, meeting for two days in Brussels, agreed on a sixth package of sanctions against Russia.
It will cover crude oil, as well as petroleum products, delivered from Russia to member states. The sanctions will immediately impact 75% of Russian oil imports, and by the end of the year, 90% of the Russian oil imported in Europe will be banned.
“This immediately covers more than 2/3 of oil imports from Russia, cutting a huge source of financing for its war machine,” Charles Michel, European Council President, said on Twitter. “Maximum pressure on Russia to end the war.”
The Council agreed that a temporary exception for crude oil delivered by pipeline will be made. In case of sudden interruptions of supply, emergency measures will be introduced to ensure security of supply.
According to Charles Michel, this sanctions package includes other hard-hitting measures: de-Swifting the largest Russian bank Sberbank, banning three more Russian state-owned broadcasters, and sanctioning individuals responsible for war crimes in Ukraine.
The European Union also said it would continue to provide support to Ukraine with a view to addressing humanitarian, liquidity and reconstruction needs. The Council agreed “to work on a mechanism to provide Ukraine with a new, exceptional macro-financial assistance package of up to €9 billion”, added Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission President.
The European Council also welcomed the recent decisions to increase military support to Ukraine under the European Peace Facility and to suspend import duties on all Ukrainian exports to the European Union for one year.
The European Council also stressed the need to provide all appropriate support to the Republic of Moldova to address the energy and economic crises, as well as the migration pressures caused by the war. It also reiterated its call for an end to repression in Belarus and recalled the democratic right of the Belarusian people to new, free and fair elections.
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