The leaders of the 27 claim that the EU maintains its unity with the new sanctions on Russian crude

French President Emmanuel Macron; the Romanian president, Klaus Iohannis; the Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel – Dario Pignatelli/European Council / DPA

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The leaders of the European Union have claimed this Tuesday that the bloc has maintained its unity by managing to unblock the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which sets an embargo on Russian oil with the exception of the pipeline that supplies Hungary.

The agreement reached late on Monday at the extraordinary summit of heads of state and government will put an end to imports of this fuel by sea from Russia, which in practice means vetoing at least two thirds of the total oil that arrives in the EU.

“It’s a compromise. If I have to choose between a compromise agreement or no sanctions, a compromise is better,” Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas told reporters ahead of the second day of the summit. .

Kallas has valued the constructive character of all the Member States to walk in the same direction and has urged to work now on the seventh round of sanctions, which affects the supply of Russian gas, an issue that will be “politically difficult” to close .

For the Latvian Prime Minister, Krisjanis Karins, it is “important” that the European partners have preserved unity to approve the new package and has made it clear that this step will mean cutting an important source of income for Moscow.

“We are moving as fast as we can all together. The important thing is that we are all united and it is a fantastic step in the right direction to make it more difficult for Russia to finance the war of aggression in Ukraine”, he assessed, reiterating that there is a will to the Twenty-seven to eliminate Russian energy dependency.

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has also celebrated the “unity and firmness” shown by the Twenty-seven with the approval of the sixth package, highlighting not only the oil embargo but also the exclusion of new Russian banks from the SWIFT system. “Ukraine has our support,” he stressed in a message on Twitter.

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In the opinion of the Irish Prime Minister, Micheal Martin, the EU is at a “decisive moment” now that sanctions affecting energy have begun to be adopted and he has been happy with the “significant decision” taken regarding oil. “Each round of sanctions is more challenging,” he has acknowledged, noting that “Putin’s actions have brought the Twenty-seven closer together.”

“We reached a conclusion. There were many doubts about whether the European countries could make the right decisions and do it together and we showed again what we are capable of doing,” Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said upon his arrival.

Faced with questions about whether Europe has yielded in the negotiation to the demands of the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, the Belgian leader has assured that the package is “a great victory for Europe”, which has been capable of “making decisions to twenty-seven.”

For his part, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, has celebrated that the agreement will mean buying 90 percent less Russian oil, affirming that the exception from which Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic will benefit is a “reasonable way out” to the debate, after the approval of this round stalled in recent weeks.

The head of community diplomacy has recalled that the EU is Moscow’s most important trading partner, so the measure will force Russia to “lower prices” and cut off financial resources to finance the war in Ukraine.


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