The European Commission has announced its plan to eliminate regional imports of Russian oil gradually. The ban is part of the sixth proposed European Union sanction package imposed on Russia for its aggression against Ukraine.
The proposal is yet to be approved by the members of the 27-nation bloc as it intends to gradually phase out Russian oil imports before instituting a total ban after six months. Surprisingly, Germany, Europe’s largest economy, which has highly been reliant on Russian oil, has backed the proposal.
“We are also pushing within the EU to now phase out oil together as Europe in the EU’s sixth sanctions package,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said.
The crackdown on oil and other Russian petroleum products is the centerpiece of this round of EU sanctions, which also includes the removal of Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, and two others from the SWIFT international payment system. This is a follow-up to an initial batch of Russian banks that were removed from SWIFT during the first weeks of the war in Ukraine.