Brussels (The Times Groupe)- Member states of the European Union agreed late Monday to reduce their purchase of oil from Russia by 90% by the end of the year.
The European Commission president announced that EU countries had agreed at the EU leaders summit in Brussels to impose energy sanctions on Russia in response to its war in Ukraine.
“I welcome the #EUCO agreement tonight on oil sanctions against Russia. This will effectively cut around 90% of oil imports from Russia to the EU by the end of the year,” von der Leyen said on Twitter.
Charles Michel, president of the European Council, also commented on the move.
“Agreement to ban export of Russian oil to the EU. This immediately covers more than 2/3 of oil imports from Russia, cutting a huge source of financing for its war machine. Maximum pressure on Russia to end the war,” he said in a tweet.
“This sanctions package includes other hard-hitting measures: de-Swifting the largest Russian bank Sberbank, banning 3 more Russian state-owned broadcasters, and sanctioning individuals responsible for war crimes in Ukraine,” Michel added.
About a month ago, the European Commission prepared a proposal to phase out the supply of crude oil from Russia in six months, as well as the supply of refined products by the end of the year.
Hungary was one of the member states that opposed the oil import ban. Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic were given more time to import oil from Moscow.
However, Hungary was opposed to the complete cessation of imports until energy supply security was fully assured.
Viktor Orban, at the entrance to Monday’s EU Leaders’ Summit, said the European Commission prepared a proposal without consulting him and called that “irresponsible behavior.”