European Union leaders have agreed on a plan to block more than two-thirds of Russian oil imports after late-night talks at a summit in Brussels.
The president of the European Council, Charles Michel, hailed the deal as a “remarkable achievement”, after tweeting on Monday night that sanctions will immediately impact 75 percent of Russian oil imports, “cutting a huge source of financing for its war machine.”
Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said the ban “will effectively cut around 90 [percent] of oil imports from Russia to the EU by the end of the year” because Germany and Poland had committed to renounce deliveries via a pipeline to their territory.
Hungary opposed the ban on Russian oil imports
EU members spent hours struggling to resolve their differences over the ban on Russian oil imports with Hungary as its main opponent.
The compromise followed weeks of wrangling until it was agreed there would be “a temporary exemption for oil that comes through pipelines to the EU,” Michel told reporters.
Because of this, the immediate sanctions will affect only Russian oil being transported into the EU over the sea—two-thirds of the total imported from Russia.
The deal on Russian oil is part of the sixth package of sanctions approved at a summit in Brussels, which all 27 member states have had to agree on.
Michel said the EU had also agreed on hard-hitting measures targeting Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, and three state-owned broadcasters.