"We reached a compromise and remain united on an issue that has been difficult to negotiate," Marin said.
The ban applies to all Russian crude oil and other refined oil transported by sea, but will not affect imports of pipeline oil, at least for the time being, as a result of Hungarian opposition.
However, Marin pointed out that up to 90 percent of Russian oil could be banned from entering the EU by the end of this year, when Germany and Poland plan to stop importing.
"It is a major step forward in terms of sanctions," he added.
Hungary needs more time
Hungary, which is dependent on Russian pipeline oil, was concerned with the Hungarian prime minister about the impact of sanctions on the country’s security of supply. Viktor Orbán demand that the import of pipeline oil be allowed, even if other sanctions are imposed.
After the meeting, EU leaders were furious about the length of the transition periods promised to Hungary and other countries, such as Slovakia and the Czech Republic, but the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said it was important for EU member states to have time to break out of Russian oil.
However, he pointed out that the exemption is not a permanent solution.
"Let’s get back to it one way or another," Von der Leyen said.
The EU’s sixth sanctions package
The decision to partially ban oil imports is part of the EU’s sixth package of sanctions against Russia, and it took weeks of political controversy to reach an agreement.
In addition to oil, the sixth sanctions package also targets Russian banks, state-owned media companies and perpetrators of war crimes. Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, will also be excluded from the SWIFT payment system.
The European Council, representing the EU Member States, has not yet taken a formal decision on the adoption of new sanctions, but a final decision could be taken as early as Wednesday.
"Some technical details are still being developed, but a huge agreement has now been reached, which means that the oil will be subject to an import ban." Marin told Yle.
EU leaders also backed a € 9 billion emergency aid package for Ukraine, which Marin said will consist mainly of grants.
The European Council is due to continue on Tuesday, with EU leaders expected to discuss the food crisis in Ukraine and the security situation in the EU.
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Source: The Nordic Page