Europe.. The ban on importing Russian crude by sea comes into effect

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The ban imposed by the European Union on imports of Russian crude oil transported by sea last June entered into force as of today, Monday.

The ban comes within the framework of sanctions against Russia in order to limit its financial revenues and thus reduce the means of financing its war in Ukraine, which it started last February.

Europe also wants to reduce dependence on Russian energy supplies after the Ukrainian crisis proved that it is at the mercy of Moscow regarding its energy security.

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According to US Energy Information Administration figures, Europe imported 49% of the total Russian crude oil and condensate exports, amounting to 4.7 million barrels per day last year.

The embargo includes Russian crude oil and petroleum products that the European Union receives by sea, and oil flowing through pipelines is excluded from the embargo.

About 65% of Russia’s oil exports reach Europe via sea tankers, while the rest flows through the Druzhba pipeline.

The European Union granted a temporary exemption from the embargo to countries that depend heavily on Russian oil and are unable to provide alternatives in the short term. The exception includes Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as the three countries continue to receive Russian oil through the Druzhba pipeline.

At the same time, the decision of the Group of Seven industrialized countries, the European Union and Australia to set a ceiling for the price of Russian oil at $60 a barrel or less came into effect today.

The agreement allows Russian oil to be shipped to third-party countries using G7 tankers, the European Union, insurance companies and credit institutions only if the shipment is purchased at or less than $60 a barrel.

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On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine, which was followed by angry international reactions and the imposition of “tough” economic and financial sanctions on Moscow.

To end the process, Russia requires Ukraine to abandon any plans to join military entities, including NATO, and to adhere to complete neutrality, which Kyiv considers an “interference in its sovereignty.”