This immediately covers more than two-thirds of Russia’s oil imports, cutting off a huge source of funding for its war machine.”
Charles Michel, President of the European Council.
The leaders of the European Union (EU) reached an agreement on Monday night on the embargo on more than two thirds of their purchases of Russian oil, as part of their sixth package of sanctions against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine.
The president of the European Council, Charles Michel, announced that the approved embargo will affect more than two thirds of European imports of Russian crude, in an agreement sealed during a summit of leaders of the bloc in the Belgian capital, Brussels.
“The move will serve to cut off a huge source of funding for the Russian war machine,” Michel added.
This extraordinary summit began amid pessimistic statements about the chances of an agreement.
The previously proposed sixth sanctions package included the idea of a full embargo on Russian oil, but that initiative has been met with opposition from Hungary, which fears for its energy security.
The solution found by the negotiators was to adopt an embargo that will initially affect imports of Russian oil that reach the EU by sea, excluding deliveries by pipeline for now.
The extension of the embargo on oil delivered by pipeline will be initiated as soon as possible, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.
Germany and Poland promised to renounce until the end of this year the Russian oil they receive through the Druzhba pipeline (the same one that supplies Hungary) and this would raise the embargo to 90% of Russia’s crude purchases.
Arriving at the meeting, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban mentioned that his country would demand guarantees to lift its opposition to the measure. Hungary, a landlocked country, imports 65% of its crude from Russia through the Druzhba pipeline and, along with Slovakia and the Czech Republic, has requested an exception to the import ban.
Gazprom cuts supply to the Netherlands
GasTerra will stop receiving gas from Russia’s Gazprom as of May 31, after refusing to accept Moscow’s demands to pay in rubles, both companies reported.
GasTerra, which buys and markets gas on behalf of the Dutch government, said it had contracted elsewhere for the 2 billion cubic meters of gas it expected to receive from Gazprom by October.
The company is owned 50% by Dutch government entities and 25% by Shell and Exxon.
“We understand GasTerra’s decision not to accept the payment terms unilaterally imposed by Gazprom,” Dutch Energy Minister Rob Jetten wrote on Twitter. “This decision will have no consequences for the physical supply of gas to Dutch households.” GasTerra decided not to adopt the system required by Russia, which involved creating accounts to be paid in euros and then exchanged for rubles.