E.U. reaches agreement on a Russian oil import ban.

BRUSSELS — European Union leaders have reached a landmark political agreement to ban the overwhelming majority of Russian oil imports by the top of the year, a measure that was thought of unattainable within the early phases of the Russian invasion of Ukraine due to the bloc’s excessive dependency on the gasoline.

In the approaching days, negotiators nonetheless have to work out technical particulars of the agreement, however E.U. leaders mentioned that they had agreed to ban Russian oil arriving within the bloc by sea by the top of the year, slicing off two-thirds of the E.U.’s whole imports.

Hungary and its prime minister, Viktor Orban, an occasional ally of Mr. Putin, had been blocking the measure. To win Hungary’s approval, European leaders agreed to permit pipeline imports.

Five European international locations import Russian oil by pipeline. Germany and Poland agreed to chop off all Russian imports, together with these arriving by pipeline, by the top of the year, however Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic made no such pledge. The three international locations are very dependent on Russian oil imports, however Slovakia and the Czech Republic have already indicated that they have been working towards switching their provide away from Russia.

As a part of the agreement, Hungary additionally acquired assurances that, ought to the pipeline that delivers Russian oil, which runs by way of Ukraine, be hit, the nation can be permitted to import oil with out being accused of violating sanctions.

Even with the exceptions to appease Hungary, a small nation that represents a tiny fraction of the Russian oil imported by the bloc, the measure will price the Kremlin billions of {dollars} a year in income whereas additionally strategically decoupling Europe from Russia in a lasting approach. It may also doubtless hit Europe laborious, as households and companies are already dealing with steeper vitality costs.

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