European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday called on all EU countries to ban oil imports from Russia.
She also proposed that three major Russian banks be disconnected from the SWIFT international banking payment system, saying Moscow must face consequences.
“Putin must pay a price, a high price, for his brutal aggression,” she told the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
According to Al Jazeera, the EU’s proposed sixth round of sanctions on Russia “notably makes no reference to Russian gas”. “Why? Because in a sense it’s a bit like it is the elephant in the European living room – it is too big to be ignored but also so big that to do away with it straight away might have a catastrophic effect on economies across this continent.”
However, von der Leyen called on the EU’s member nations to ban imports of crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of the year.
“We will make sure that we phase out Russian oil in an orderly fashion, in a way that allows us and our partners to secure alternative supply routes and minimises the impact on global markets,” she added.