The European Union has banned most Russian oil imports with an embargo within six months, in its 6th sanctions package against Moscow to dry up funding for the war against Ukraine, after arduous negotiations due to pressure from Hungary.

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It is also expanding its blacklist to around sixty personalities, including former Russian gymnast Alina Kabaeva, according to the sanctions published Friday in the official journal of the EU. Targeted because of his role in the “propaganda” of the Kremlin, the media lend him a relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin which the latter has denied.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, whom Brussels wanted to sanction for his support for the war, was spared, on the other hand, due to the refusal of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in the name of the defense of “religious freedom”. .

The exclusion of the main Russian bank from the Swift system, an essential cog in international banking exchanges, has also been recorded.

This new salvo of sanctions is the strongest against Moscow after more than three months of offensive in Ukraine.

The cessation of imports by boat of crude oil will take place within six months and that of petroleum products within eight months. Pipeline supply, on the other hand, can continue “temporarily” but without setting a deadline. In particular, it supplies three countries without access to the sea, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

A concession obtained under pressure from Viktor Orban, whose country depends 65% on its consumption of cheap oil routed through the Druzhba pipeline.

The gradual embargo will affect 2/3 of European purchases. Germany and Poland having decided on their own to stop their deliveries via Druzhba by the end of the year, Russian imports will be affected by more than 90%, argue the Europeans.