The “in principle” sanctions agreement would ban 90% of all Russian oil imports to the European Union by the end of the year, allowing some imports to continue via pipeline.
“This immediately covers more than 2/3 of oil imports from Russia, cutting a huge source of financing for its war machine. Maximum pressure on Russia to end the war,” European Council President Charles Michel wrote on Twitter.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said leaders would “soon” return to negotiate the remaining 10% of pipeline oil.
The agreement is notably less prohibitive than an earlier proposal that would have completely banned imports by year’s end.
Land-locked Hungary had been a key holdout in negotiations over a full ban, and after the initial proposal provided more time for it and Slovakia to stop imports, other nations began seeking exemptions for their own pipeline imports.
The EU already agreed to ban Russian coal imports in a previous sanctions package, but it is being less aggressive against Russian natural gas imports, as several member nations have worried a swift ban would significantly hamper industry and send energy prices even higher.