EU Passes Sixth Sanctions Package Since Russia’s War against Ukraine Began

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In addition to a partial oil embargo, the new EU package includes measures against Russian banks and TV channels accused of mass murders in Bucha and Mariupol, as well as dissemination of military propaganda. As Russia’s war against Ukraine continues into its 100th day, the EU Council approved the sixth package of economic and personal sanctions against Russia and Belarus. “With today’s package, we further limit the Kremlin’s ability to finance the war,” EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said Friday, June 3. Partial oil embargo. The EU bans Russian oil imports to EU countries and thus deprives Russia of a huge source of revenue. In addition, more key Russian banks will be cut off from the international payment system SWIFT, and personal sanctions are imposed on those accused of atrocities in Bucha and Mariupol and Kremlin war propaganda, Borrel pointed out. The refusal to buy crude oil will take up to 6 months, petroleum products – up to 8 months, the EU Council said in a statement. A temporary exemption is provided for crude oil imports by pipeline to countries that have no viable alternatives due to their geographic location, it was reported further. SWIFT disconnections, banning of Russian TV channels and export restrictions Three more Russian banks, Sberbank, Moscow Credit Bank and Russian Agricultural Bank, as well as Belarus’ Belinvestbank, will be disconnected from SWIFT. In addition, the EU is suspending the broadcasting of three more Russian state TV channels – Russia RTR/RTR Planeta, Russia 24 and International TV Center. “These structures were used by the Russian government as tools to manipulate information and disseminate disinformation about the invasion of Ukraine, including propaganda, with the aim of destabilizing Russia’s neighboring countries as well as the EU and its member states,” the statement explains. In addition, the package contains measures to restrict exports to Russia and Belarus of dual-use goods and technologies, in particular chemicals that can be used to create chemical weapons. It is also a ban on a number of consulting services and personal restrictions. “The EU strongly condemns Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. It calls on Russia to immediately stop its indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, and to withdraw immediately and unconditionally all its troops and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders,” the statement reads. The EU Council also called on Russia to grant immediate access to humanitarian organizations and immediately allow the safe return of Ukrainians forcibly removed to Russia. The decisions included in the sixth sanctions package will soon be published in the Official Journal of the EU. DW