EU agrees on oil price cap in eighth package of Russia sanctions

Diplomats strike deal to widen penalties after Moscow's 'annexation' of parts of Ukraine

Russian oil tankers will be denied financing or insurance by EU countries if their cargo flouts the price cap. AP
Powered by automated translation

The European Union on Wednesday agreed on an eighth package of sanctions on Russia that includes a price cap on its oil.

Diplomats from the EU's 27 countries struck a deal after late-night talks to tighten the economic squeeze on Moscow in response to the war in Ukraine.

The latest sanctions are "a strong EU response to Putin's illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories", one bloc official said.

The package includes measures to curb the Kremlin's revenue from oil exports to developing countries, bringing the EU in line with a G7 plan to cap prices.

European companies will be banned from transporting Russian oil, or providing financing or insurance to Russian tankers, unless the cargo is sold below a certain price.

The EU announced a ban on most Russian oil imports within its own borders in May, which will take effect on December 5. Demands by some members for a ban on gas have yet to win consensus within the union.

As part of the latest package, the EU is also widening export bans on steel, machinery, chemicals and other goods, and extending sanctions to Russian-held territories in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

The purported annexation of those two regions, as well as Donetsk and Luhansk, by Russian President Vladimir Putin, was the trigger for the eighth package.

Russia will also be denied access to legal, engineering and IT services from European companies, mirroring a similar move by Britain.

"We will never accept Putin’s sham referenda nor any kind of annexation in Ukraine. We are determined to continue making the Kremlin pay," said European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.

Germany's ambassador in Brussels, Michael Clauss, said the eighth package "underlines that the EU remains united and determined to support Ukraine".

They are expected to take effect on Thursday after member states have formally adopted them in writing.

Updated: October 05, 2022, 1:17 PM