EU leaders agree on sixth package of sanctions against Russia
At the special meeting of the European Council, which began on 30 May in Brussels, the EU leaders agreed to impose new sanctions on Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine. The leaders were joined by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky via video conference for a discussion at the beginning of the meeting. Finland was represented at the meeting by Prime Minister Sanna Marin.
The new sanctions apply to crude oil and petroleum products imported from Russia to the EU. The embargo covers more than two thirds of crude oil imported from Russia. A temporary exception has been made for crude oil delivered by pipeline. The details of the sanctions package will be made public and the sanctions will enter into force once approved by the Council and published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Emergency measures will be introduced to ensure security of supply in case of sudden interruptions.
The European Council strongly condemned Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and stated that the suffering and destruction being inflicted by Russia are unspeakable. The EU leaders called on Russia to stop its attacks on civilians, to allow immediate humanitarian access, and to immediately and unconditionally withdraw all of its troops from Ukraine. The EU reaffirmed its strong commitment to assisting Ukraine in defending itself against Russia’s attack and in building a peaceful, democratic and prosperous future. Russia, Belarus and all those responsible will be held to account for their actions in accordance with international law.
With regard to economic assistance, the EU will continue to provide support to Ukraine with a view to addressing humanitarian, liquidity and reconstruction needs. The EU leaders stated that the Union is ready to grant Ukraine new exceptional macro-financial assistance of up to EUR 9 billion in 2022 this year. The European Commission is expected to present a proposal on the matter. The European Council also invites the Commission to put forward a proposal on how EU Member States can be supported in receiving refugees from Ukraine within the Multiannual Financial Framework. The European Union and its Member States are prepared to play a major role in Ukraine’s reconstruction and propose a reconstruction platform that would bring together the Ukrainian government, the European Union and its Member States, the European Investment Bank, and international partners, financing institutions and organisations. The EU leaders also call for an investigation into how frozen Russian assets could be used to support Ukraine’s reconstruction.
The special European Council also discussed ways to phase out the EU’s dependency on Russian energy. The main objective in the short term is to diversify energy sources and supply routes and to safeguard energy supplies. It is also important to accelerate the development of renewable energy sources, improve energy efficiency and invest in infrastructure. The Union is preparing for disruptions in energy supplies through bilateral agreements and a coordinated European contingency plan. In addition, the EU leaders called on the Commission to continue its work to optimise the design of the European electricity market.
The meeting will continue in the morning on Tuesday 31 May. The second day of the meeting will focus on security, defence and food security.
Inquiries: Jari Luoto, State Under-Secretary for European Affairs, tel. +358 50 468 5949, Tuulia Pitkänen, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 295 160 231, and Anne Sjöholm. Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 537 0733, Prime Minister’s Office