President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has clamoured for a halt to importation of oil from Russia, while seeking a ban in the new set of sanctions announced.
Leyen who urged the 27-nation-bloc on Wednesday, also said the sanctions will also seek to paralyse regularities pertaining to Russia’s top bank and media powers.
The recently announced sanctions is now the sixth since hostilities started in the border of Ukraine.
During a public address in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, the EU Leader suggested that a period of six months should be enough for member states to end crude oil importation of Russia.
She also opined that the phase-out would help each country start refining products by the end of 2022.
“We will make sure that we phase out Russian oil in an orderly fashion, in a way that allows us and our partners to secure alternative supply routes and minimizes the impact on global markets,” she said.
On the incidence in Bucha, Leyen stated that the Commission should target perpetrators of the mass killing of civilians in Bucha. This includes highly ranked Russian military officers and Russian troops who were also linked to the massacre.
“This sends another important signal to all perpetrators of the Kremlin’s war: We know who you are. We will hold you accountable. You’re not getting away with this,” von der Leyen said.
The move will likely stare up heated debates between member nations as some of these nations heavily depend on Russia for its energy supplies. The sanctions will also need unanimous approval to stand.
Recent statistics show that the EU acquires up to 25% of its oil products from Russia, with the country supplying 14% Diesel to the bloc.
The oil import ban will be the second of its kind by the EU targeted at Russia’s booming energy sector if approved.