EU chief calls for ban on Russian oil imports by end of 2022

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks to the press in the Berlaymont, the European Union Commission headquarter on April 27, 2022, in Brussels, Belgium. (Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)

The European Union's top official called for a full-scale ban of Russian oil imports to take effect by the end of 2022 on Wednesday.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen included the ban in a new suite of sanctions against Russia she proposed Wednesday. The sanctions would also hit more Russian banks, TV stations and target Russian officials believed to be responsible for alleged war crimes in Ukraine.

"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 minimizes the impact on global markets," von der Leyen said.


FILE-An oil pumping jack operates in an oilfield operated by Bashneft PAO near Ufa, Russia. (Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Her plan would see European economies phasing out crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of the year, according to the Associated Press.

The plan is far from final, however, as all 27 member states must vote to adopt the sanctions unanimously. Many European countries are still heavily reliant on Russian oil imports, even as countries like Germany have taken steps to find other sourcing.

Slovakia's economic ministry announced Tuesday that the nation would seek an exemption from any EU ban on Russian oil imports. The country did not say it would vote against such a move outright, however.

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