The import restriction is based on a sanctions regulation passed by the 27 member states last June because of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. It came into force shortly after the decision, but provided for a long transitional period for the oil products embargo.
The import of Russian crude oil into the EU has been largely banned since last December. There is only one exception to the oil products embargo for Croatia.
Also effective this Sunday is a regulation intended to force Russia to sell oil products below the market price to buyers in other countries. For products such as diesel, it provides a price ceiling of 100 US dollars (around 92 euros) per barrel, for lower-quality petroleum products such as heating oil it should apply at 45 dollars (around 41 euros) per barrel (159 liters). For comparison: on international exchanges, a barrel of diesel for delivery to Europe was last traded at prices equivalent to around 100 to 120 euros.
Both measures are intended to help limit Russia’s trade gains, thereby also limiting Russia’s warfare capabilities. According to the EU Commission, the upper price limit for Russian crude oil deliveries to third countries, which was introduced last December, is estimated to cost Russia around 160 million euros a day. The aim of the price cap is, however, to prevent new price jumps on the international markets in order to protect the EU states and third countries.