EU announces Russian oil price cap in new sanctions plan

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The European Commission is proposing a price cap on Russian oil as part of its latest sanctions package against Moscow over its war with Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell announced Wednesday.

The new package comes after the Kremlin’s announcement on partial mobilization, annexation referendums in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine and the recent discovery of a mass grave in Izyum.

The oil price cap was previously agreed by G7 countries. The U.S. had been putting pressure on the EU to get the cap in place by December 5, when European sanctions banning seaborne imports of Russian crude come into force. Von der Leyen said she would publish the legal basis for this oil price cap, to reduce Russian revenues and stabilize the global oil market.

The sanctions — the EU’s eighth package against Russia — included more measures against individuals assisting Vladimir Putin’s war effort, as well as bans on trade in goods.

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There will be new import bans on Russian products into the European market. Other measures in the new package include new export bans to Russia, for example on additional aviation items, electronic components and specific chemical substances, von der Leyen said. There will also be additional bans on providing European services to Russia and a prohibition on EU nationals sitting on governing boards of Russian state-owned enterprises.

The EU also wants to sanction more individuals, including those involved in the organization of the referenda, Borrell said, and also sanction individuals if they circumvent European sanctions.

The European Commission presented the new measures to EU ambassadors at their meeting Wednesday. They are expected to discuss it in-depth at their next meeting on Friday.

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