3 Jun 2022 14:06

Reducing dependence on Russian energy imports is 'imperative' for EU - European Commission

BRUSSELS. June 3 (Interfax) - The European Commission has welcomed the Council of the European Union's approval of the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, emphasizing the continuation of the European policies to reduce the dependence of the EU on Russian energy.

"Beyond sanctions, the EU has made it clear that reducing our dependence on energy imports from Russia is an urgent imperative," the European Commission said in a communique released in Brussels on Friday.

According to the European Commission's estimations, "sanctions are among the EU's most visible, direct, and powerful responses" to the events in Ukraine. The European Commission said in its statement that "this package also imposes further sanctions against Belarus considering its involvement" in Russia's actions in Ukraine.

"Together with the previous five packages, the sanctions adopted today are unprecedented and designed to further increase economic pressure on Russia and undermine its ability to wage its war on Ukraine," the document said.

Like with previous sanctions packages, the new restrictions have been coordinated with international partners, the European Commission said.

The document states the measures on the import of Russian oil and petroleum products announced by the Council of the European Union earlier on Friday. "The ban is subject to certain transition periods to allow the sector and global markets to adapt, and a temporary exemption for pipeline crude oil to ensure that Russian oil is phased out in an orderly fashion," the document said.

"This will allow the EU and its partners to secure alternative supplies and minimizes the impact on global oil prices," the document said.

"As regards export restrictions, today's package includes restrictions on chemicals that could be used in manufacturing chemical weapons," the document said.