Sixth sanctions package: “de-SWIFTing” of Sberbank, oil imports and 3 russian state-owned broadcasters ban

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The European leaders were able to agree in principle on the sixth sanctions package, the European Council, and the Council should now be able to finalize a ban on almost 90% of all russian oil imports by the end of the year, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission said at the press conference.

“This is an important step forward. We will soon return to the issue of the remaining 10% of pipeline oil,” she noted. The sanctions also include “de-SWIFTing” of Sberbank, the largest bank in russia, a ban on three more russian state-owned broadcasters, a ban on providing russian firms with a whole range of business services, and more.

“I want to note that other elements in the package are also important. It is the de-SWIFTing of the Sberbank. The Sberbank is the biggest russian bank, with 37% of the russian banking sector. So this is good that we now de-SWIFT the Sberbank. There is a ban on insurance and reinsurance of russian ships by EU companies; a ban on providing russian companies with a whole range of business services. And, very important, there is the suspension of broadcasting in the European Union of three further russian state outlets that were very typically spreading broadly the misinformation that we have witnessed over the last weeks and months” – the president of the European Commission listed.

The EU leaders also discussed the financial support for Ukraine, she added. “We agreed that, on one hand, we take note of the very good result of the G7 that put USD 9.5 billion already on the table. USD 7.5 billion of those are American contributions, and EUR 1 billion in the G7 by Germany in grants. But we think that, of course, the European Union has to carry its fair share, too. Therefore, we are working on a mechanism to have an extraordinary macro-financial assistance package of EUR 9 billion, on which we will work now in the next week, on how to put it in place”, – Ursula von der Leyen explained.

The question of the reconstruction of Ukraine was discussed at the meeting too. “It was good that we could discuss the proposal of the Commission in the Council to create a platform where we can channel all the international initiatives – be it from the OECD, or the G20, or the IMF, or the World Bank, the European efforts, the ones from our American friends, for example – to be clear together on the direction of travel to raise the necessary investment, but also to be very clear that investment comes with reform. Reform of the administrative capacity, the judicial independence, to fight corruption, to create a conducive environment for the business sector”, she said.

The president of the European Commission stressed that it is essential that the European leaders “stand together to give Ukraine a fair chance to rise from the ashes and to be able to really leapfrog forward what reconstruction is concerned in investment, but also in the improvement of the state of Ukraine.”

As reported, on May 30, the European Council agreed in principle on the sixth sanctions package against russia over its invasion of Ukraine, which includes the ban of 90% of russian oil.

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