EU agrees new round of sanctions against Russia including cap on Russian oil prices

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Exempted from the measure is crude oil arriving via pipeline, as Hungary demanded

The member states of the European Union have reached an agreement on Wednesday to approve the new round of sanctions against Russia, which will include a cap on the price of Russian oil, and which responds to the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine following the illegal referendums and the annexation of four Ukrainian regions occupied by the Russian Army.

As confirmed by the Czech Presidency of the Council, the EU-27 this morning reached a “political agreement” at ambassadorial level to adopt the eighth round of sanctions against Moscow since the start of the military aggression in Ukraine.

In a message on social networks, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen applauded the European ambassadors’ agreement and welcomed the EU moving “swiftly and firmly” in the face of Russia’s maneuvers. “We will never accept sham referendums or any kind of annexation. We are determined to continue to make the Kremlin pay,” he has noted.

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In any case, European sources indicate that the text now has to be finalized and adopted by written procedure, so the new restrictive measures will see the light of day on Thursday morning, before the start of the informal summit of EU heads of state and government in Prague.

On the same day they will be published in the EU Official Journal and will enter into force, thus meeting the deadlines set by the European bloc to respond to the escalation of Russian President Vladimir Putin in a matter of days and before the summit in the Czech Republic.

The full details of the package, which will further limit imports of Russian products and European technology exports in an attempt to undermine Russian industrial and military capabilities, remain to be known. The ‘blacklist’ of individuals and companies responsible for illegal consultations in Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporiyia and the mobilization of reservists will also be expanded.

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Similarly, member states have been discussing in recent days the ‘legal basis’ for applying a cap on the price of Russian crude oil, in an attempt to reduce Russia’s revenues and stabilize markets.

European sources confirm to Europa Press that this measure has also been agreed by the EU-27, although the sanctions will not affect crude oil reaching Europe via pipeline, something that countries such as Hungary and other landlocked European partners demanded due to their heavy dependence on Russian oil.

In a message on social networks Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto celebrated this achievement, which comes on top of the exemption granted by the EU to Hungary regarding the Russian oil veto that will come into force in December. “We have succeeded in exempting pipeline transport from the oil cap mechanism. The security of oil supply is assured for Hungary and is not at risk from these measures,” he said.

Szijjarto thus framed this concession in Hungary’s “arduous struggle” to obtain exemptions from European sanctions that “would harm the Hungarian people or endanger energy supplies,” after Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has repeatedly spoken out against further measures against Russia.

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