The European Union ban on Russian oil will not be “a walk in the park,” but it was a “right and necessary” decision, Austrian energy minister Leonore Gewessler said on Tuesday as EU member countries agreed a sixth round of anti-Russia sanctions.
Since Russia launched its military offensive in Ukraine in late February, the EU has imposed a series of major sanctions on Moscow. The sixth package includes a partial ban on Russian oil. Some EU member states, such as Hungary and Bulgaria, will be given a waiver, but most import routes will be blocked. The decision, which provides a temporary exemption in respect of pipeline oil, will affect around 75% of the bloc’s Russian crude.
The Austrian minister wrote on Twitter that the ban was “an important step” which would make the EU “more independent and resilient.” Gewessler also stressed that, over the past few months, Austria has not been importing Russian oil and had “prepared well” for the oil embargo.
“It is clear to all of us that this is a feat of strength and a great challenge. This decision will certainly not be a walk in the park, but it is right and necessary,” the minister wrote.