EU stops short of imposing Russian oil embargo despite ‘gruesome’ crimes in Ukraine

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A sanctions package which was put before the EU 27 by the European Commission on Tuesday said Russian coal deliveries would be phased out. The decision comes despite the delivery being worth around €4billion (£3.3bn) a year.

Measures also include banning Russian vessels and trucks from entering the continental bloc and introducing tougher sanctions on four key Kremlin banks.

However, the Brussels bloc has opted not to ban Russian oil imports and focus efforts on cutting out less valuable coal.

Politico reports the Germans led the EU’s opposition to the embargo as Berlin is heavily reliant on Moscow for its oil imports.

However, German resistance to further sanctions comes just weeks after they were reported to have led the charge against excluding Russia from the SWIFT scheme.

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In that instance, Germany U-turned and joined the UK in pushing for the EU to exclude Russia from the services scheme.

Ukraine and other Eastern European nations have been pushing for an energy embargo after suggesting oil and gas revenues have helped bolster Vladimir Putin’s war chest.

Division in Brussels comes after images from Ukraine appeared to show Russian troops carrying out atrocities against civilians.

Images from Bucha, located on the outskirts of Kyiv, showed bodies piled up in the street.

Witnesses even claimed many appeared to have been shot while their hands were bound behind their backs.

Human Rights Watch concluded in a report yesterday the Russians had carried out “unspeakable, deliberate cruelty and violence” against the Ukrainian people.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “We all saw the gruesome pictures from Bucha and other areas from which Russian troops have recently left.

“These atrocities cannot and will not be left unanswered.”

She added: “Russia is waging a cruel and ruthless war, not only against Ukraine’s brave troops, but also against its civilian population.

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“It is important to sustain utmost pressure on Putin and the Russian government at this critical point.”

Boris Johnson also responded by saying: “The discovery of more mass graves outside Kyiv is sickening.

“The UK will not stand by whilst this indiscriminate and unforgivable slaughter takes place.

“We are working to ensure those responsible are held to account.

“We will not rest until justice is done.”

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