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EU Unveils Plan To Phase Out Imports Of Russian Oil

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen unveiled the sixth package of sanctions against Russia at the European Parliament Wednesday.

Speaking during a debate on the social and economic consequences for the EU of the Russian war in Ukraine, the commission president announced plan to phase out import of Russian crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of the year.

While acknowledging that the ban is not easy as European countries are highly dependent on Russian energy, Ursula von der Leyen said, "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".

In the last sanction package, EU had decided to ban Russian coal.

She pledged the European Union's economic support to help Ukrainians cope with the fallout of the war in line with the massive budgetary support that the United States announced recently.

Ukraine's GDP is expected to fall by 30 percent to 50 percent this year alone. IMF estimates that from May on, Ukraine needs EUR5 billion each month to keep the country running, paying pensions, salaries and basic services.

EU will remove three major Russian banks, including their largest bank Sberbank, from SWIFT system.

The European Union is banning three big Russian state-owned broadcasters from its airwaves. "We have identified these TV channels as mouthpieces that amplify Putin's lies and propaganda aggressively," von der Leyen told the lawmakers.

EU will also ban European accountants, consultants and spin doctors from providing those services to Russian companies.

The EU top executive proposed sanctions on high-ranking Russian military officers and other individuals who committed war crimes in Bucha and who are responsible for the inhuman siege of the south eastern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol.

She proposed an ambitious recovery package to help Ukrainians rebuild their country from the ruins of the war.

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