BRUSSELS, June 3. /TASS/. The Council of the EU has adopted the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which includes a delayed embargo on Russian seaborne crude oil and petroleum products, de-SWIFTing of Sberbank, Russian Agricultural Bank, Credit Bank of Moscow, and the Belarusian Bank for Development and Reconstruction, as well as suspension of the broadcasting activities of Rossiya 24, RTR Planeta, and TV Centre International channels, according to a statement released on Friday.
The phasing out of Russian oil will take "from 6 months for crude oil to 8 months for other refined petroleum products," the statement said. Sanctions are expected to come into force later on Friday after they are published in the Official Journal.
"A temporary exception is foreseen for imports of crude oil by pipeline into those EU member states that, due to their geographic situation, suffer from a specific dependence on Russian supplies and have no viable alternative options," the document said. Hungary and Slovakia are meant as those countries in the first place. Moreover, "Bulgaria and Croatia will also benefit from temporary derogations concerning the import of Russian seaborne crude oil," according to the statement.
"The EU is suspending the broadcasting activities in the EU of three more Russian state-owned outlets: RTR Planeta, Rossiya 24 and TV Centre International," the document said. "These measures will not prevent those media outlets and their staff from carrying out activities in the EU other than broadcasting, e.g. research and interviews," the statement said. These structures have been used by the Russian Government "as instruments to manipulate information and promote disinformation about the invasion of Ukraine, including propaganda, with the aim to destabilize Russia's neighboring countries and the EU and its member states," the EU said.
New EU sanctions envision cutting off Sberbank, Russian Agricultural Bank, Credit Bank of Moscow, and the Belarusian Bank for Development and Reconstruction from the international payment system SWIFT. "The EU is extending the existing prohibition on the provision of specialized financial messaging services (SWIFT) to three additional Russian credit institutions - Russia's largest bank Sberbank, Credit Bank of Moscow, and Russian Agricultural Bank - and the Belarusian Bank For Development And Reconstruction," the statement by the Council of the EU said.
The sixth package of EU sanctions against Russia also contains a ban on the provision of consultancy, accounting and public relations services, as well as cloud services, to Russia. "The EU will prohibit the provision of accounting, public relations and consultancy services, as well as cloud services to Russia," the document said.
The EU will also expand the list of persons and entities in Russia and Belarus concerned by export restrictions regarding dual-use goods and technology. "Moreover, the EU will expand the list of goods and technology which may contribute to the technological enhancement of Russia’s defense and security sector. This will include 80 chemicals which can be used to produce chemical weapons," the statement said.
Furthermore, the Council has expanded the list of individuals and entities facing personal sanctions by adding "those responsible for the atrocities committed by Russian troops in Bucha and Mariupol, personalities supporting the war, leading businesspersons and family members of listed oligarchs and Kremlin officials, as well as companies in the defense and a financial organization," according to the statement.