EU adopts sixth package of sanctions on Russia including oil ban

  • 2022-06-03
  • LETA/DPA/TBT Staff

BRUSSELS - The 27 EU member states adopted a sixth package of sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine on Friday, a statement from the European Union's top diplomat said.

The sanctions target Russia's "ability to finance the war by imposing further economic sanctions," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

The package targets Russian oil delivered by sea, and exempts oil that moves via pipeline. This excludes the giant Soviet-era Druzhba pipeline, which connects Russia with several Eastern and Central European countries.

The watered-down ban on oil was secured after Hungary and other landlocked countries lobbied heavily against a proposal for a full EU embargo on Russian oil for nearly a month.

Hungary also succeeded in pressuring the EU into dropping sanctions on Russian Orthodox Church leader Patriarch Kirill in its latest round of punitive measures.

Hungary made the last-minute push to exempt Kirill, an avid supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, on Wednesday, after EU leaders reached a political agreement on the package earlier this week at a special summit.

The sanctions package also expels Russia's largest bank, Sberbank, from SWIFT, an international financial communication system, bans three more Russian state-owned broadcasters and sanctions individuals responsible for war crimes in Ukraine.

In order for the new sanctions to enter into force after the formal adoption, they must be published in the Official Journal of the EU, which could happen as early as Friday.

Five previous rounds of sanctions targeted Russia's economy, financial system, central bank, top government officials, as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle.