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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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EU reaches compromise deal on banning Russian oil imports

According to European Council chief Charles Michel the deal is expected to cut off a huge source of financing for the Russian war machine

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Brussels: European Union leaders reached a compromise agreement on a plan to block more than two-thirds of Russian oil imports, BBC reported on Tuesday.

This ban will only be applicable on oil that arrives by sea and not the one that is transported through the pipeline, after Hungary opposed it.

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According to European Council chief Charles Michel the deal is expected to cut off a huge source of financing for the Russian war machine and is part of a sixth package of sanctions approved at a summit in Brussels, which all 27 member states have had to agree on.

Russia currently supplies 27 per cent of the EU’s imported oil and 40 per cent of its gas. The EU pays Russia around €400bn ($430bn, £341bn) a year in return.

However, till now, no sanctions on Russian gas exports to the EU have been put in place, except the freezing of a new gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.

The compromise was reached after weeks of wrangling until the member countries agreed there would be “a temporary exemption for oil that comes through pipelines to the EU”.

But in practice, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the scope of the ban would be wider, because Germany and Poland have volunteered to wind down their own pipeline imports by the end of this year, which will leave around 10-11 per cent that is covered by the southern Druzhba, which comprises oil being supplied through the Russian pipeline to Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, adding that the European Council will revisit this exemption “as soon as possible”. 

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