EU envoys approve new sanctions package against Russia, including partial oil embargo


EU envoys on Thursday approved the bloc’s sixth sanctions package against Russia, with measures including partial oil embargo and the exclusion of Sberbank from the SWIFT payment system.

This came in line with the agreement reached in last week’s EU summit, the French turning presidency of the Council of the European Union announced on Twitter.

The sanctions package includes a ban on Russian seaborne oil imports that is supposed to cut 92% of Russia oil trade into the bloc by the end of this year.

It also excludes Russia’s biggest bank Sberbank from the SWIFT international payment system and two other financial institutions, and bans three new Russian state-owned broadcasters from the EU.

The package introduces travel ban and asset freeze on people belonging to the military administration and responsible for the killings in Ukraine’s Bucha.

After a month of stalled negotiations, EU leaders reached a political agreement on the sixth set of restrictive measures at their summit on late Monday night.

The new package complements the previous sanctions targeting, among others, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, as well as banning the export of luxury goods, and coal imports, and excluding Russian and Belarusian banks from using the SWIFT system.

The measures will enter into force once they are officially approved by national capitals and published in the EU Official Journal.

The EU has allocated €2 billion ($ 2.13 billion) in military aid to Ukraine and mobilized more than €4 billion in macro-financial assistance, humanitarian aid, and support to EU countries hosting refugees from Ukraine since the war began on Feb. 24.

The bloc is also set to allocate another €9 billion credit to Ukraine.

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