The European Union has announced a sixth package of sanctions against Russia: they will cover the military leadership involved in the Bucha killings, as well as the phasing out of Russian oil imports, said the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen during a speech in the European Parliament.
The document will list high-ranking military and other individuals who committed war crimes in the town of Bucha in Kyiv Oblast. The nature of restrictions imposed on them remains unknown at this time.
It is also proposed to cut off three Russian banks from SWIFT, including the largest, Sberbank. Moreover, three major Russian state broadcasters that spread propaganda and lies will be banned from operating in the EU.
The European Commission is proposing to ban the import of Russian oil.
"Let´s be clear: it will not be easy.
But we simply have to work on it," said Ursula von der Leyen.
Earlier, The Wall Street Journal reported that, according to the new sanctions, the EU should stop buying Russian crude oil within six months and stop importing oil products from Russia by the end of 2022. Hungary and Slovakia, which are heavily dependent on oil imports, will be given 20 months to gradually reduce Russian imports.
For the sixth package of sanctions to come into effect, it must still be approved by the EU Council.
According to the Brussels-based Bruegel think tank, the EU buys 3 to 3.5 million barrels of oil a day in Russia and pays $400 million a day for it. This constitutes about 27% of the bloc's oil imports. According to the International Energy Agency, in 2021 revenues from oil and gas accounted for 45% of Russia's federal budget.
The fifth package of sanctions
The EU Council approved the previous package of sanctions on April 8. The new restrictions included a ban on coal imports from August 2022. Coal imports to the bloc now amount to about 8 billion euros a year.
It was also forbidden to grant access to EU ports to vessels registered under the Russian flag, but with certain exceptions. In addition, the personal sanctions list was expanded.