EU leaders agree on partial embargo on Russian oil

Move cuts ‘around 90 per cent’ of oil imports from Russia to bloc by end of year

Von Der Leyen: No 'high expectations' Russian crude oil supply solved in next two days

European Union leaders moved on Monday night to impose a partial oil embargo on Russia, following a summit that saw a long-delayed package of sanctions blocked by Hungary.

The watered-down embargo covers only Russian oil brought in by sea, allowing a temporary exemption for imports delivered by pipeline.

EU council president Charles Michel said on Twitter the agreement covers more than two-thirds of oil imports from Russia, “cutting a huge source of financing for its war machine. Maximum pressure on Russia to end the war.”

The EU had already imposed five previous rounds of sanctions on Russia over its war, but the sixth package of measures announced at the beginning of May had been held up by concerns over oil supplies.

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban had made clear he could support the new sanctions only if his country's oil supply security was guaranteed.

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said the move would "effectively cut around 90 per cent of oil imports from Russia to the EU by the end of the year”.

The EU gets about 40 per cent of its natural gas and 25 per cent of its oil from Russia.

In a 10-minute video address, Ukrainian president Volodomyr Zelensky told leaders to end “internal arguments that only prompt Russia to put more and more pressure on the whole of Europe”.

French officials said the decision by Germany and Poland to phase out Russian oil by the end of the year and to forgo oil from the Druzhba pipeline will help reach the 90 per cent threshold announced by Ms von der Leyen.

Protesters had gathered outside EU buildings on Monday before the summit, holding signs like “No to Russian oil and gas”.

Additional reporting by AP

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