© Reuters. Sixth round of sanctions coming?EU reportedly intends to ban Russian oil imports by year-end
Financial Associated Press (Editor Xia Junxiong) According to Bloomberg, citing sources, the European Union intends to ban the import of Russian oil by the end of this year, and will gradually implement import restrictions before that.
The European Union could propose a sixth round of sanctions against Russia at a meeting as early as next week and, in addition to the oil ban, could push for more Russian and Belarusian banks to be kicked out of SWIFT, the international payments system, including the Russian Federation, people familiar with the matter said. Sberbank, the largest bank in Russia. Previously, the United States and the United Kingdom have imposed sanctions on Sberbank.
Other measures aimed at cracking down on Russia’s oil industry include setting price caps, special payment mechanisms and tariffs, and the EU is also considering a different treatment for oil transported by cruise ships and pipelines, which are more vulnerable to sanctions.
It should be noted that the above-mentioned sanctions plan has not been formally proposed and may be adjusted. EU sanctions would need the support of all 27 member states, while countries such as Hungary have long opposed bans on Russian oil imports.
Previously, Germany had also opposed extending sanctions to Russia’s energy sector. As Europe’s largest economy, Germany and France share the role of interlocutors within the EU, so Germany’s position has a pivotal impact on EU policy.
However, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said in an interview this week that Germany would not prevent the EU from embargoing Russian oil. However, Habeck also warned that he was sceptical about the effect of the oil embargo, arguing that such a move could even backfire, as it could allow Russia to supply other countries with oil at higher prices and make more money from it, Or offer discounts in exchange for other countries supporting Russia.
In order to counter Western sanctions and stabilize the ruble’s exchange rate, Russian President Vladimir Putin had previously demanded that countries classified as unfriendly by Russia must use the ruble to buy natural gas.
Poland and Bulgaria have so far been cut off from gas supplies for failing to abide by Putin’s new terms, but other countries are confident they will keep gas supplies.
Since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the EU has extended sanctions to Russia’s coal, but has yet to formally issue a ban on natural gas or oil. The EU has imported about 44 billion euros worth of fossil fuels from Russia since the conflict began, figures show.