EU bans most Russian oil, sanctions alleged Putin girlfriend
NNN: The EU formally adopted a ban on most Russian oil imports on Friday, hitting Moscow with its toughest sanctions over the war against Ukraine after weeks of disputes with Hungary.
The sanctions, the sixth wave imposed by the 27-nation bloc since the Kremlin launched the invasion in February, include cutting off Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, from the global messaging system SWIFT, according to the text published in Russia’s official gazette. the European Union.
President Vladimir Putin’s alleged girlfriend, former gymnast Alina Kabaeva, has also been added to an asset freeze and visa ban blacklist, along with Russian military personnel suspected of war crimes in the Ukrainian city of Bucha.
EU leaders agreed to target Russia’s main oil exports on Monday after weeks of resistance from Hungary, giving in to Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s demand to exempt Russian oil delivered by pipeline.
The sanctions cover two-thirds of Russian exports currently coming in by ship and will take effect in six months for crude oil and eight months for refined products.
Germany and Poland have also pledged to stop taking deliveries by pipeline, meaning around 90 percent of Russian oil imports from the EU are expected to stop by the end of the year.
In an attempt to prevent Hungary and other countries that will continue to receive oil from Russian pipelines from benefiting from their exemption, there is a ban on reselling cheaper supplies.
The bloc also seeks to curb Moscow’s ability to sell the oil outside the EU by banning financial institutions from insuring and financing ships that transport it to third countries.
The EU imported more than a quarter of its oil from Russia before the war and has been accused of not moving fast enough to stop the flow of funds to Moscow’s war machine after 100 days of fighting.
But the difficulties in achieving an oil ban mean there appears to be little prospect of the bloc moving on to hit Russian gas exports, which are key to boosting economies like Germany’s.
Banks, ‘butchers’, broadcasters The new round of sanctions seeks to further isolate Russia and its ally Belarus from the global financial system by disconnecting Sberbank and three other lenders from the SWIFT system.
It is also prohibited to provide accounting, auditing and consulting services to Russian entities.
It adds some high-profile names to a blacklist, including Putin’s alleged girlfriend Kabaeva and 45 Russian military personnel linked to the Bucha killings.
Top Russian commander Mikhail Mizintsev, dubbed the “butcher of Mariupol” for overseeing the brutal siege of the port city, is also subject to sanctions.
However, one name that does not appear is that of the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, after Hungary demanded that he be removed from the list.
The bloc expands its broadcast ban on Russian state media to include Rossiya RTR, Rossiya 24 and TV Center International and stops EU companies advertising on the channels.
Chemicals that could be used to make illegal weapons are added to a list of prohibited exports.
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