What does EU’s partial oil ban imply for Russia and remainder of Europe? | European Union

What has been agreed?

After practically a month of wrangling, the European Union has agreed to a partial ban on Russian oil, with the goal of reducing off funding to the Kremlin’s battle machine. Based on the European Council president, Charles Michel, three-quarters of Russian oil imports shall be instantly affected, rising to 90% by the tip of the yr.

What international locations have been exempted and why?

The EU is banning seaborne oil instantly, which covers about two-thirds of Russian imports to the EU. Oil transported via the important Druzhba (“friendship”) pipeline shall be exempt from the ban, a key concession to Hungary, which is closely depending on Russian oil.

The EU is assured most Russian oil flows will stop by the tip of the yr, as a result of Germany and Poland, international locations on the northern department of Druzhba, have promised to forgo its provides. Nations on the southern department of the Soviet-era pipeline – Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic – will profit from the momentary exemption.

When will the EU transfer to a whole oil embargo?

That isn’t clear. Ursula von der Leyen, the European Fee president who has been driving sanctions coverage, promised the EU would focus on learn how to shut the loophole “as quickly as potential”. Hungary is looking for EU money to retool its oil refineries that may solely take Russian crude. Croatia additionally wants time to spice up provides to its northern neighbour via the Adria pipeline. EU leaders have prevented giving particulars on the tip date of the exemption for central Europe.

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How will the embargo have an effect on Russia’s battle machine?

The EU is paying Russia about €1bn (£850m) a day for oil and fuel, a useful supply of onerous forex for the Kremlin in funding its battle towards Ukraine. A pointy reduce in these monetary flows deepens Russia’s financial issues in the long run. Some economists have warned, nonetheless, that it might have the perverse impact of serving to Moscow within the brief time period, as Russia advantages from excessive costs. The EU’s prolonged discussions have additionally given Russia time to seek out various patrons.

What’s going to the impression be on shoppers and companies in Europe?

Motorists and companies will see increased costs on the pumps, because the embargo feeds into increased oil costs. Governments will discover it even tougher to handle the already hovering value of dwelling. After the announcement of the EU oil embargo, the value of a barrel of Brent crude hit $124.10 (£98.59), its highest stage since March, though it dropped again slightly in later buying and selling. Oil costs have already risen greater than 55% this yr and are at their highest ranges since 2008.

Does the EU have extra sanctions playing cards to play?

Earlier than the EU had even agreed on the oil embargo, some international locations have been already contemplating additional sanctions towards Russia’s greatest export: fuel. Earlier than the battle, Russia provided 40% of EU fuel however EU leaders have promised to step by step section this out. Nonetheless, Ukraine’s most outspoken allies within the EU, Poland and the Baltic states, assume the EU ought to now put an finish date on Russian fuel. That step is much from assured and shall be even tougher than talks on the unfinished oil embargo.

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