Brussels: The European Commission has proposed a plan to phase out Russian oil imports, stepping up its efforts to cut off a key funding source for the Kremlin.
The proposal, which member states must still approve, reflects extended negotiations over how far the European Union should penalize and isolate Russia for its war in Ukraine. The phaseout is more gradual than the immediate embargo some countries pushed for. It would ban oil imports after six months and refined petroleum products by the end of the year.
But an oil phaseout would still represent a dramatic shift for the E.U., which told the United States it couldn't join a Russian energy embargo in March.
The oil pan is the centerpiece of E.U.'s sixth round of sanctions, a package that would also remove Russia's biggest bank, Sberbank, and two others from the SWIFT payment system.