August 15, 2022

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The European Union proposes a gradual embargo on Russian oil as part of sanctions against Moscow

The European Union proposes a gradual embargo on Russian oil as part of sanctions against Moscow

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a press conference with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, after Russia launched a large-scale military operation against Ukraine, in Brussels, Belgium, February 27, 2022.

Stephanie Leacock | Reuters

On Wednesday, the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, imposed new sanctions on the Kremlin that include a phased cancellation of Russian crude imports for a period of six months.

Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and evidence of war crimes, prompted the European Union to take bolder steps on energy sanctions. But imposing measures that could reduce or completely cut off Russian energy supplies to the European Union has been a complex task for the bloc.

This is because the region is dependent on Russia for many energy sources, including oil. In 2020, Russian oil imports accounted for about 25% of crude mass purchases, according to District Statistics Office.

“Let’s be clear: it will not be easy,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at a press conference on Wednesday.

“Some member states are very dependent on Russian oil. But we simply have to work on it. We are now proposing a ban on Russian oil. This will be a complete ban on the import of Russian oil, seaborne and pipelined, crude and refined.”

This is a breaking news story, please check back later for more information.

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