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EU proposes progressive embargo on Russian oil | Europe | D.W.

European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen proposed a sixth embargo against Russia this Wednesday (05.04.2022), including the first-ever veto on Russian oil purchases, although it believes it should. Used gradually and with exceptions for Hungary and Slovakia.

“We propose a ban on Russian oil, which will be a barrier to total imports of all Russian oil, sea and pipeline crude and refined oil,” said Ursula van der Leyen, chair of the commission, in a speech to the European Parliament. , Meeting in Strasbourg.

Progressive ban, excluding Hungary and Slovakia

Brussels proposes that the veto be implemented “to ensure systematic (…) alternative delivery routes and minimize the impact on global markets,” said Van der Leyne, referring to the six-month veto and ban on crude oil. “By the end of the year” in refined products.

“Let it be clear: this is not easy. But we must work on it. We will ensure the proper disposal of Russian oil. Increase pressure on Russia and reduce the impact on our economy,” he wrote. On Twitter, he summed up his speech to the European Parliament by points.

“In the latest set of sanctions, we started with coal. Now we propose to address Russia’s dependence on oil. Of course, it is not easy. Some member states rely heavily on Russian oil,” he added.

European sources point to Hungary and Slovakia as having relied entirely on Russian oil, while the Commission has not released details of the sanctions proposal, which is to be unanimously approved by the twenty-seven member states of the European Union. Outside the sea, they get more time.

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Against the banks and those responsible for the massacre

Similarly, the European Union (EU) intends to exclude three other Russian banks from the SWIFT interim banking system, including Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank.

Van der Leyen told the European Parliament that an attack on “important banking institutions important to the Russian financial system” would strengthen Russia’s “overall isolation” and weaken its ability to finance the war in Ukraine.

In addition, Van der Leyen proposed to punish individuals and organizations responsible for or in any way responsible for the documented massacres in cities such as Pucha or the coastal city of Mariupol, which were practically devastated by Russian attacks.

Van der Leyen declared in the European Parliament that “we will punish the top military officials and other individuals who committed war crimes in Pucha and caused the inhumane siege of the city of Mariupol.”

First direct action for assassinations

This is the first time that the European Union has specifically banned those involved in the massacre of civilians in Ukraine. As of Monday, 1,202 civilian bodies had been recovered.

Mariúpol, which initially had a population of about half a million, was virtually destroyed by Russian attacks, and its troops already claim control of the entire city, except for the Azovstal steel plant.

Ukrainian officials point out that more than 10,000 people are still in the ruins of the city without water, electricity or basic supplies, and have condemned Moscow for blocking efforts to bring humanitarian aid to the region.

Rescue package for Ukraine

“We want Ukraine to win this war. However, many more need to be rebuilt. That is why I propose to our mission to begin work on an ambitious rescue package for our Ukrainian friends,” Van der Leyen tweeted about his speech to the European Parliament.

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“This package should bring in massive investment to meet the needs and necessary reforms,” he said.

Sixth Round Obstacles: Are you sure?

The sanctions include 680 individuals and 53 Russian companies linked to the invasion of Ukraine, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov. And a large group of oligarchs close to the Kremlin.

Those allowed under this regime are barred from entering European territory and their assets are frozen in the EU; Depositing funds by European citizens or companies is also prohibited. “It sends another important signal to everyone who waged the Kremlin war: we know who they are and they will be held accountable,” Van der Leyen now stressed.

The five previous revision rounds against Moscow and its ally Minsk summed up the attempts to block transactions with Russia’s central bank, freeze part of its assets, cut off traffic to Russian ships and aircraft, and block some of its banks’ transactions or exports. .

The packages last include a ban on Russian coal beginning in August, which became the first penalty for the energy sector and cut off hydrocarbons from entering the EU, according to Eurostat, which received 5. 5.4 billion in 2021. In that exercise, Russia also entered the EU for, 17,300 million in gas sales and ,000 74,000 million in oil.

According to the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), the European Union has purchased more than 52,000 million euros worth of energy from Russia since the Ukraine invasion (20,600 million oil, 30,500 million gas and 860 million coal). )).

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rml (efe, afp, @vonderleyen, last updated 9:58 CET)