The European Union on Monday agreed to ban 90% of oil imports from Russia by the end of 2022.
“I am very glad that the [European Union] leaders were able to agree in principle on the sixth sanctions package [against Russia],” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “Thanks to this, the Council should now be able to finalise a ban on almost 90% of all Russian oil imports by the end of the year.”
The European Commission is the executive branch of the European Union.
With the ban, the European Union governments, which are heavily dependent on Russia for oil, will have to find alternative sources of supply. On Tuesday, Belgium and Ireland – while they appreciated the ban – said that Europe will take time to adjust to the impact of the embargoes, the Associated Press reported.
Russia is the world’s largest exporter of crude and fuels and with numerous buyers boycotting the country, it has raised fears of supply disruption.
The United States and the United Kingdom have already banned oil imports from Russia.
These embargoes are among the many sanctions placed by western countries on Russia after it invaded Ukraine.
On Monday, Leyen said that the ban on the import of oil was an “important step forward”. She was speaking at the European Council Summit in Brussels.
Along with the oil ban, the European Union is also removing Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, from Swift.
Swift is a secure platform used by financial institutions to exchange information about global monetary transactions. The system operates as a middleman to verify transactions by providing secure financial messaging services to more than 11,000 banks in over 200 countries.
The European Union on Monday also said that Russian companies will not be provided business services. It has also suspended the broadcasting of three Russian state outlets in the European Union for “spreading misinformation”.