The European Union has proposed to ban oil imports by Russia by the end of 2022 and remove the country’s most established bank, Sberbank, from the spheres of the SWIFT international payments network.
Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, said that the measures would form part of the sixth round of sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine.
Crude oil supply is likely to be phased out within six months, and imports of refined oil products by the end of 2022.
The announcement, which needs the approval of other E.U. nations, resulted in a 3.5% hike in crude oil prices. The global benchmark, Brent, was trading at US$ 109 per barrel, while the U.S. oil futures were at US$ 106 barrel at 7.20 am E.T.
Oil prices have spiked by 40% since the beginning of the year on the grounds of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, fuelling inflation and mounting pressure on European countries.
E.U. nations have agreed to phase out Russian coal imports, but there has been no consensus, despite weeks of talks and discussions. Reportedly, Slovakia has sought exemption, and Hungary said it was concerned about its energy security.
Russia is the world’s second-biggest crude oil exporter and accounted for about 27% of E.U. oil imports in 2021. The US, Canada, and the U.K. have already banned imports.