EU flags waving outside the Brussels EU building.

“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.”

European Council President Charles Michel tweeted on Monday. The European Union is expected to meet this week to sign off on a new sanctions package concerning Russia.

Published on

may 31, 2022

  • Why It Matters: The EU imports about 36% of its oil from Russia (CNBC). The new sanctions package signals one of the most significant economic penalties placed on Russia since the war in Ukraine began. If the package receives an unanimous vote from officials Russian oil will be phased out throughout the next few months.
  • This is the sixth sanctions package on Russia but the first to include sanctions on oil. Michel also tweeted that it "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." (For more on why "de-Swifting" matters, click here.)
  • In a video address to EU officials, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said to end “internal arguments that only prompt Russia to put more and more pressure on the whole of Europe.” He added that the sanctions would have to be agreed upon and that the strategy “needs to be effective, including (on) oil,” so that Russia “feels the price for what it is doing against Ukraine.”
  • The response? "#Russia will find other importers," tweeted Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna, Austria.
  • Something to consider: This embargo would include "oil delivered from Russia via pipelines," which accounts for about a third of the oil purchased from Russia by the European Union (WSJ). Each EU country acquires its oil in different ways, with some depending on Russia more than others. Hungary, for example, said they would only support a new sanctions package *if* they maintained oil security. According to NPR, "Hungary gets more than 60% of its oil from Russia and depends on crude that comes through the Soviet-era Druzhba pipeline."

European Union Pledges to Curb Oil Purchases From Russia (WSJ)

EU leaders agree to ban 90% of Russian oil by year-end (Associated Press)

Charles Michel tweet announcing ban on Russian oil

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