Energy & Environment

EU officially adopts Russian oil embargo

The European Union on Friday formally adopted a sanctions package banning oil imports from Russia in response to its February invasion of Ukraine. 

The sanctions package, the sixth imposed by the EU thus far, will phase out imports of Russian crude oil by sea over the next six months and refined petroleum imports over eight months. The EU imported about $51.5 billion in crude from Russia and $24.7 billion in refined products in 2021.  

In the announcement, the EU said the package would include a temporary exemption for European nations with a “particular pipeline dependency” on Russia, allowing them to continue receiving crude oil by pipeline in the meantime. Exempt states would still be restricted from reselling crude or refined oil to third parties or other European states. 

Bulgaria, meanwhile, will specifically be permitted to import crude oil and petroleum products by sea through the end of 2024 due to its “specific geographical exposure.”

And Croatia will be allowed to continue importing the Russian vacuum gas oil necessary for its refinery operations until the end of 2023.  

The sanctions will also bar operators within the EU from financing or insuring transportation of Russian oil to third-party countries. 

“This will make it particularly difficult for Russia to continue exporting its crude oil and petroleum products to the rest of the world since EU operators are important providers of such services,” the European Council said in a statement. 

European Council President Ursula von der Leyen proposed the ban in May after the U.S., which is less reliant on Russian oil, had announced a similar embargo. On Monday, EU leaders reached an agreement on the embargo, sending the sanctions package to the 27 member states to be legally endorsed.

The new sanctions, von der Leyen said, will “effectively cut around 90 percent of oil imports from Russia to the EU by the end of the year.” 

Tags Russia Russian oil Russian oil ban russian oil embargo Russian oil imports Russo-Ukraine war Ukraine Ukraine crisis Ukraine war Ursula von der Leyen

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