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EU agrees on partial embargo on Russian oil, cutting Sberbank off SWIFT

EU leaders negotiated the sixth package of sanctions against Russia

BRUSSELS, May 31. /TASS/. EU leaders negotiated the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which includes, in particular, partial embargo on import of Russian oil and cutting Russia’s Sberbank of the SWIFT international payment system, European Council President Charles Michel announced Monday.

"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," Michel tweeted.

"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," he added.

EU member states had been negotiating the sixth sanctions package for almost one month. Initially, the EU planned to ban import of all Russian oil and oil products, but this decision was opposed by Hungary and a number of other states, who believe that such measures will inflict catastrophic damage on European economy. The European Commission had to exclude Russian pipeline oil from the package to obtain Hungary’s consent.

In the meantime, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban stated ahead of the summit that no consensus had been achieved on oil embargo during the preliminary negotiations of EU envoys. Accusing the European Commission of irresponsibility, Orban called to ensure European countries’ energy security before imposing any sanctions.