EU leaders agree on Russian oil embargo – POLITICO

EU leaders reached a political agreement late Monday evening to impose sanctions on Russia’s oil imports.

“Agreement to ban Russian oil exports to the EU,” President Charles Michel tweeted of a leadership summit in Brussels. “This immediately covers more than 2/3 of Russia’s oil imports, taking away a huge source of funding for its war machine.”

The Council of the EU has yet to formally agree on the sanctions.

The compromise will allow Russia’s pipeline oil exports to continue to the EU temporarily, while sea shipments will be blocked by the end of the year, as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced earlier this month.

von der Leyen tweeted that the leaders’ agreement “will reduce about 90% of oil imports from Russia to the EU by the end of the year.”

Germany and Poland, which could benefit from the pipeline’s exemption, have committed to de facto shutting down the northern Druzhba pipeline, several EU diplomats said.

There is also an agreement to “de [closure of the] southern branch as soon as possible,” said an Elysée official. The southern part of the pipeline supplies oil to Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

An EU official said the Czech Republic was given an 18-month exemption from the ban to cover the resale of oil products.

Hungary has also ensured that a contingency facility is in place to ensure security of supply if their pipeline supplies are cut, EU diplomats said.

Lifting an embargo on Russian oil would be one of Europe’s most important steps in limiting the revenues available to President Vladimir Putin to wage war in Ukraine. But the proposed move was held up for several weeks by Hungary, which claimed its economy would be hammered by a blanket ban.

David M. Herszenhorn, Lili Bayer and Giorgio Leali contributed coverage.

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