European Union leaders have agreed in principle to cut 90 percent of oil imports from Russia by the end of this year, after reaching a compromise deal with Hungary.The ban will only affect oil that arrives by sea but not pipeline oil, following opposition from Hungary.
Two-thirds of the Russian oil imported into the EU is delivered by tanker and one third by the Druzhba pipeline.
The 27-nation Organisation has spent weeks negotiating over a complete ban on Russian oil but encountered stubborn resistance from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban who said an embargo would destroy his country’s economy.
European Council chief Charles Michel said the deal cut off “a huge source of financing” for the Russian war machine as Russia currently supplies 27% of the EU’s imported oil and 40% of its gas.
It is part of a sixth package of sanctions approved at a summit in Brussels, which all 27 member states have had to agree on.
So far, no sanctions on Russian gas exports to the EU have been put in place, although plans to open a new gas pipeline from Russia to Germany have been frozen.