EU chief proposes Russian oil ban

STORY: The plan, if agreed by EU governments, would mark a watershed for the world's largest trading bloc, which is dependent on Russian energy and must find alternative supplies.

But Russia's invasion of Ukraine by land, sea and air on Feb. 24, the renewed Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine and the horrific images of slaughter in Ukrainian towns have overcome reluctance to deliver the toughest sanctions so far.

"Today, we will propose to ban all Russian oil from Europe," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

"This will be a complete import ban on all Russia," she said to applause in the chamber.

The Commission's measures include phasing out supplies of Russian crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of 2022, von der Leyen said. She pledged to minimize the impact on European economies.

The price of Brent crude rose 2% to $107,11 at around 0900 CET, up 37.5% since the start of year.

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