EU leaders agree on partial embargo on Russian oil

European Union leaders have reached a compromise to impose a partial oil embargo on Russia at a summit focused on helping Ukraine with a long-delayed package of sanctions that was blocked by Hungary.

The watered-down embargo agreed on Monday covers only Russian oil brought in by sea, allowing a temporary exemption for imports delivered by pipeline. EU Council President Charles Michel says the agreement covers more than two-thirds of oil imports from Russia, cutting a huge source of financing for its war machine.

Olivier Matthys/AP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is seen on a screen, left, as addresses from Kyiv during an extraordinary meeting of EU leaders to discuss Ukraine, energy and food security at the Europa building in Brussels, Monday, May 30, 2022. European Union leaders will gather Monday in a fresh show of solidarity with Ukraine but divisions over whether to target Russian oil in a new series of sanctions are exposing the limits of how far the bloc can go to help the war-torn country. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

“We want to stop Russia’s war machine,” Michel said, lauding what he called a “remarkable achievement.”

“More than ever it’s important to show that we are able to be strong, that we are able to be firm, that we are able to be tough,” he added.

Hungary led a group of European Union countries that worried over the impact of the oil ban on their economy. Those countries included Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. Hungary relies heavily on Russia for energy and can’t afford to turn off the pumps. Hungary also gets 85% of its natural gas from Russia.

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