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EU gives final approval to sanctions targeting Russian oil and Sberbank

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view shows destroyed facilities of Azovstal Iron and Steel Works during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine May 22, 2022. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Pavel Klimov

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union diplomats gave a final approval on Thursday to the bloc’s sixth round of sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine, a diplomat told Reuters.

The sanctions include a partial oil ban and will remove Russia’s top lender Sberbank from the international platform SWIFT. They come after Hungary repeatedly denied the bloc the necessary unanimity of the 27 EU countries by escalating its national demands.

On Thursday, the diplomat said, the agreement was finally possible after the other 26 countries agreed to remove from the proposed blacklist the head of the Russian Orthodox church and a close Kremlin ally, Patriarch Kiryll, to appease Budapest.

The agreement comes into force at 0700 GMT tomorrow, unless a member state raises objections, said the diplomat. Legal imposition of the sanctions would then follow soon after.

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