Presentation of the sixth sanctions package: the EU wants to stop imports of Russian oil

Status: 04.05.2022 1:50 p.m.

The President of the Commission presented the sixth package of EU sanctions against Russia. The most important point is a ban on oil imports. However, it won’t be “easy”, von der Leyen said. There should also be sanctions against banks and TV stations.

In its sixth sanctions package against Russia since the start of the war in Ukraine, the European Commission has proposed a full oil embargo, which member states have yet to accept.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said when presenting the measures to the European Parliament that all imports of Russian crude oil should be stopped with a transitional period of six months. By the end of the year, the embargo should also affect all refined petroleum products. It includes all imports by sea and by pipeline. Several news agencies had already reported on the corresponding project.

European Commission President von der Leyen confirms oil embargo against Russia

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Sanctions against banks, broadcasters and the military

Von der Leyen also announced that he wanted to exclude Russia’s Sberbank and other institutions in the country from the Swift payment system. The EU wants to deprive the Russian economy of the opportunity to diversify and modernize.

In order to counter Russian propaganda, after RT and Sputnik, three other public broadcasters in the country will have their broadcasting license revoked in the EU. Finally, according to the head of the commission, there should also be personal sanctions against members of the Russian army responsible for atrocities against the civilian population, for example in Bucha. “We know who they are and they will be held accountable,” von der Leyen said.

Planned reconstruction fund

“We want Ukraine to win this war,” von der Leyen said. It also requires financial assistance. The country currently needs five billion euros per month to be able to maintain the state. According to estimates, several hundred billion euros are needed to rebuild the country. Here too, the European Union bears a special responsibility. Von der Leyen did not say how much money should come from the EU.

At the end of this road could be Ukraine’s accession to the EU, said von der Leyen to the applause of the deputies.

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Von der Leyen: ‘It won’t be easy’

The 27 EU countries must unanimously agree to the Commission’s proposed sanctions before they can come into force. However, Hungary in particular had already expressed reservations in advance. Several news agencies had previously signaled that there should be exceptions for certain countries. Von der Leyen also admitted that the planned embargo will require great efforts from some countries. “Let’s face it: it won’t be easy,” she said. “Some member states are heavily dependent on Russian oil.”

Habeck: the embargo can be applied in Germany

Economy Minister Robert Habeck considers the embargo feasible for Germany. The transition period is “long enough” to create alternatives, he said – even if prices could rise. However, the government cannot guarantee that regional developments will not be “stagnant”. Habeck named the refinery in Schwedt, Brandenburg, which is controlled by the Russian state company Rosneft. However, the location must be preserved and “a sustainable industry” must be built there.

Hungary, on the other hand, expressed strong reservations about an embargo. Budapest sees no precaution that “guarantees Hungary’s energy security”, criticized the government.

Moscow: Russian oil via third countries

In an initial reaction from Moscow to the announced measures, Vladimir Jabarov, of the RIA agency’s international affairs committee, said: “Europe will continue to buy Russian oil via third countries as soon as it introduces an embargo .

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