European Union leaders have agreed to embargo most Russian oil imports into the bloc by year-end as part of new sanctions on Moscow at a summit focused on helping Ukraine with a long-delayed package of further financial support.

Iran PressEurope: Following the start of the Russian war, at the request of officials in eastern Ukraine, the European Union, in concert with the United States, imposed sanctions on senior Moscow officials, including the president, and confiscated the assets of Russian citizens and companies.

EU Council President Charles Michel said the agreement covers more than two-thirds of oil imports from Russia. Ursula Von der Leyen, the head of the EU's executive branch, said the move will "effectively cut around 90% of oil imports from Russia to the EU by the year."

Michel said European leaders also agreed to provide Ukraine with a 9 billion euro ($9.7 billion) tranche of assistance to support the war-torn country's economy. It was unclear whether the money would come in grants or loans.

The new package of sanctions will also include an asset freeze and travel ban on individuals, while Russia's biggest bank, Sberbank, will be excluded from SWIFT, the central global system for financial transfers from which the EU previously banned several smaller Russian banks. Three big Russian state-owned broadcasters will be prevented from distributing their content in the EU.

The EU had already imposed five previous sanctions on Russia over its war. It has targeted more than 1,000 people individually, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and top government officials and pro-Kremlin oligarchs, banks, the coal sector, and more.


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