The European Union on Monday agreed to ban most Russian oil imports in response to the invasion of Ukraine, The Washington Post reports.
After weeks of negotiations, the E.U. agreed to ban Russian oil imports delivered by sea while exempting oil delivered by pipelines in a concession to Hungary. Several countries will also get exemptions or extensions.
Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban had resisted the deal, demanding more time and money to upgrade his country’s oil infrastructure.
European Council President Charles Michel said the agreement would cover two-thirds of Russian oil imports, cutting off a “high source of financing for [Russia’s] war machine.”
No gas ban:
The compromise was well short of the full and immediate ban called for by Poland and other Baltic states.
The deal also does not address imports of Russian natural gas.
But the agreement marks an escalation of the EU’s response. The EU imported 35% of its oil from Russia in 2020.
The oil ban is the sixth round of EU sanctions against Russia, which also includes a package that will remove Russian banks from the SWIFT system for international transactions and ban three Russian state-owned broadcasters.
The EU is also expected to sanction top military officers and others involved in possible war crimes in Ukraine.
Gas prices surge:
Fuel prices hit a new record on Tuesday after the ban was announced.
The average price of a gallon of gas in the US hit $4.62, according to AAA, the highest cost on record and a 52% increase from last year.
Seven states are now averaging over $5 a gallon and Californians are paying an average of more than $6.