The EU has proposed some of its toughest measures yet against Russia, including a total ban on oil imports and sanctions on war crimes suspects.

European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen said the package was aimed at maximising pressure on Russia while minimising damage to Europe.

Russian crude oil would be phased out within six months, she said.

Hungary has rejected the proposal as unacceptable and the Czech and Slovak governments want a transition period.

The EU has been focusing for weeks on how to wean itself off Russian oil and gas. It has already pledged to reduce gas imports by two-thirds by the end of 2022 and now plans to phase out crude oil over six months and refined products by the end of 2022.

Slovakia as well as Hungary currently relies on Russian oil and under the initial proposal would be given until the end of 2023 to find alternative suppliers.

Credit: BBC

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