May 30, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks to the media in Brussels on Monday.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks to the media in Brussels on Monday. (Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP)

European Union leaders have agreed “on principle” on a new sanctions package against Russia, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said in a news conference on Monday following a summit in Brussels.

“I’m very glad that the leaders were able to agree in principle on the sixth sanctions package, this is very important. Thanks to this, (the) council should now be able to finalize a ban on almost 90% of all Russian oil imports by the end of the year. This is an important step forward,” von der Leyen said.

Von der Leyen added that the remaining 10% of imports of Russian oil is via a pipeline into Hungary and Slovakia. Those imports would be exempt from the sanctions, she said.

“Two-thirds of the oil that we have in the EU is seaborne and one-third in pipeline,” von der Leyen said, “We have agreed for the moment being for an exemption. We have agreed that the council will revert to the topic as soon as possible.”

Von der Leyen stated that the leaders agreed to remove Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, from the SWIFT network, as well as institute a ban on the insurance of Russian ships by EU companies and a ban on providing Russian companies with a range of services.

Von der Leyen added that there would be a suspension of broadcasting of three more Russian state outlets in the EU. She did not specify which broadcasters would be suspended.

“We are working on a mechanism to have an extraordinary macrofinancial assistance package of 9 billion (euros), which we will work on now in the next week — how to put it into place,” von der Leyen said.

The leaders also held intensive talks on the reconstruction of Ukraine. Von der Leyen emphasized that coordination across EU states is necessary to carry this out.

“It was good that we could discuss the proposal of the commission in the council to create a platform where we can channel all of the international initiatives to be clear together on the direction on travel, to raise the necessary investment, but also to be very clear that investment comes with reform,” she said.





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