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Minutes after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a new decree on retaliatory sanctions against the West, the European Union has announced a lineup of new sanctions on Russia targeting banking, oil imports and disinformation campaigns, Reuters reports.
"We are working on the sixth package of sanctions which aims to de-SWIFT more banks, list disinformation actors and tackle oil imports," Josep Borrell, head of the foreign policy unit at the EU's executive European Commission, said in a tweet.
The EU adopted its fifth round of sanctions against Russia in early April. This will be the sixth round, if approved.
The bloc has already blacklisted several Russian banks from SWIFT–the world’s key financial messaging services that enables secure transactions–and is now gearing up to add Russia’s biggest lender, Sberbank, to the exclusion list.
Among the sanctions is expected to be a controversial ban on Russian oil imports by the end of this year.
Details on the new sanctions are expected to be released Wednesday and will then need to be approved by 27 member states. According to the Wall Street Journal, details of the sanctions could be released later on Tuesday.
European Council president Charles Michel says the sanctions are “imminent” in order to “break the Russian war machine”.
“Our goal is simple: we must break the Russian war machine. And I am confident that the council will imminently impose further sanctions, notably on Russian oil,” the Guardian quoted Michel as saying.
Hungary and Slovakia, in particular, remain opposed to a Russian oil ban, though the bloc has reportedly considered exemptions or some sort of timeline relief for both countries. Slovakia insists it needs up to six years to be able to replace Russian oil, while Hungary says it cannot support an oil embargo at all.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com