European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, on May. 4, called on the 27-nation bloc to ban oil imports from Russia and impose a sixth round of sanctions against the country's largest bank and major broadcasters.
President Ursula von der Leyen, speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, proposed for EU member nations to phase out Russian crude oil imports within 6 months and refined oil imports by yearend.
“When the Leaders met in Versailles, they agreed to phase out our dependency on Russian energy. In the last sanction package, we started with coal. Now we are addressing our dependency on Russian oil,” von der Leyen said.
“Let us be clear: it will not be easy. Some member states are strongly dependent on Russian oil. But we simply have to work on it. We now propose a ban on Russian oil. This will be a complete import ban on all Russian oil, seaborne and pipeline, crude and refined,” she said.
“We will make sure that we phase out Russian oil in an orderly fashion, in a way that allows us and our partners to secure alternative supply routes and minimizes the impact on global markets. This is why we will phase out Russian supply of crude oil within 6 months and refined products by the end of the year. Thus, we maximize pressure on Russia, while at the same time minimizing collateral damage to us and our partners around the globe. Because to help Ukraine, our own economy has to remain strong,” she continued.
The proposal, likely to be the subject of intense debate, must pass unanimously by the 27 EU countries to take effect. If agreed, the embargo would echo actions by the US and Britain, which have already imposed bans to cut off one of Russia's biggest sources of income.