Ukraine: Europeans agree on Russian oil embargo | International – Germany, Europe, Africa | DW

The Heads of Government and State of the European Union (EU) have reached an agreement for an embargo on Russian oil, announced the President of the European Council, explaining that two thirds of European imports to Russia are in Game.

“Agreement to ban the export of Russian oil to the EU. This immediately covers more than two-thirds of oil imports to Russia, cutting off a huge source of funding for its war machine,” the European Council president announced. , Charles Michel, on the night of this Monday (30.05), in a publication on the social network Twitter.

In the publication, the official underlined the “unity” within the European Council, which meets today and Tuesday in Brussels in an extraordinary summit, also underlining the “maximum pressure on Russia to end the war”.

The embargo agreed in Brussels by European leaders will reduce EU oil imports from Russia by around 90% by the end of the year, the President of the European Commission said last night.

In a Twitter post, Ursula von der Leyen welcomed the deal and stressed that it will virtually mean the end of oil imports from Russia within about six months, even with the changes and exceptions. introduced, namely the embargo in a first phase to be applied. in the country, if only to oil imports by sea.

“This will effectively reduce about 90% of Russia’s oil imports into the EU by the end of the year,” Von der Leyen wrote.

Agreement with modifications

After difficult discussions within the EU to move forward with a gradual and progressive embargo on Russian oil, as proposed by the European Commission almost a month ago, the question was on the table. European leaders’ day, with changes now being made to the initial proposal, such as the measure covering two-thirds of European imports of Russian oil, that is to say all maritime oil from Russia.

This means that Hungary and other countries more dependent on Russian oil, such as Slovakia and the Czech Republic, can continue to import overland.

These imports are carried out via the Druzhba pipeline, which is 8,900 kilometers long and leaves Russia and reaches Belarus, where it splits into two branches, one covering Poland and Germany, countries are committed not to use, and another that arrives in Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Faced with criticism from these countries that are more dependent on Russian oil, mainly Hungary, temporary derogations are also planned to guarantee the security of supply for certain Member States.

European sources explained that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had asked his counterparts to include a solidarity and urgency clause for Budapest to approve the embargo, predicting that in the event of a supply disruption by this pipeline, the other Member States would help the country to ensure its supply.

penalty package

At stake is the sixth and new sanctions package against Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine, proposed by the European Commission in early May, after the institution covered, in the previous package of restrictive measures, the coal import ban.

The most recent package, presented by Brussels four weeks ago, provides for a complete and gradual elimination of all imports of Russian oil to reduce Europe’s energy dependence on Russia, also stipulating a derogation one year for Hungary and Slovakia.

According to European sources, these sanctions should come into force within six months for oil and within eight months for petroleum products.

The war in Ukraine revealed the excessive energy dependence of the EU on Russia, which is responsible for around 45% of European gas imports. Russia also supplies 25% of the oil and 45% of the coal imported by the EU.

Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine on February 24 that has killed more than 4,000 civilians, according to the UN, which warns the real number is likely to be much higher.

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