EU leaders agree to partial ban on Russian oil imports

EU leaders agreed to a partial ban on Russian oil imports, while exempting a key supply route to win the support of Hungary, as they seek ways of punishing Vladimir Putin for his war on Ukraine.

The embargo will include oil and petroleum products but will exempt crude delivered by pipeline to Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, diplomats said.

The deal, which came at a late-night summit in Brussels on Monday, should pave the way for EU agreement on a heavily delayed sixth package of sanctions that also includes measures hitting Russian banks and further individuals.

Charles Michel, president of the European Council of member states, hailed the deal in a tweet, saying that it was “cutting a huge source of financing for [Russia’s] war machine” and would deliver “maximum pressure on Russia to end the war”.

But the agreement was won only after weeks of haggling between member states, and at a cost of significant concessions offered to Hungary and its neighbours, as capitals weighed the rising economic costs of multiple rounds of sanctions on Russia.

Olaf Scholz, Germany’s chancellor, said the deal proved that the EU was united. He added: “We have agreed on further far-reaching sanctions against Russia. There will be an embargo on the majority of Russian oil imports.”

Capitals have not settled how long any carve-out of Russian oil supplied via pipeline would last.

The ban will include seaborne oil purchases, which cover about two-thirds of Europe’s…

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