Ukraine wins Europe’s oil embargo battle, but withdraws in Severodonetsk

Building destroyed by artillery at Lyssychansk on May 30, 2022 in eastern Ukraine
Building destroyed by bombing in Lysychans’k on May 30, 2022 in eastern Ukraine (ARIS MESSINIS / AFP)

Ukraine has won a battle to secure a Russian oil ban from Europeans, but its troops are from Russian steamrollers in eastern Ukraine, where Moscow troops now control parts of major cities from Severodonetsk. It is retreating.

After several weeks of disruption on the Hungarian side, 27 European Union leaders reached an agreement on a gradual embargo between Monday and Tuesday night during a summit meeting in Brussels that followed Tuesday. did.

The embargo initially affected only two-thirds of Russia’s black gold purchases in Europe, oil transported by boat, and oil transported in a pipeline that allowed Budapest to lift its veto. Does not affect.

“This will block huge sources of funding for Russia’s war machines,” European Council President Charles Michel said in a tweet.

Later, the extension of the pipeline embargo on delivery was discussed “as soon as possible”, and in total 90% of Russia’s oil exports to the EU would be suspended by the end of the year, European Commission President Ursula. Von Dell said. Ryan and President Emmanuel Macron of France.

At the beginning of the summit, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky challenged the video conference on the need to confront Russia and deplete its financial resources. Hydrocarbons occupy an important part of it.

“Europe must abandon Russia’s oil, as the great independence of Europeans to Russia’s energy weapons is at stake,” he said, even before the agreement in Brussels was announced. He commented on Monday night in his daily speech to his compatriots. ..

The sixth package of European sanctions also includes the exclusion of three Russian banks from the Swift international financial system, including Sberbank, Russia’s leading institution.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at a video conference at the European Summit in Brussels on May 30, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / POOL / AFP) at a video conference at the European Summit in Brussels on May 30, 2022.

However, Sberbank guaranteed on Tuesday that the impact of this measure would be limited. “Major restrictions have already been enforced (…)” Swift exclusions do not change the status of international payments, “as stated in a bank press release, already heavy measures by the United States and the United Kingdom. Is the target of.

European leaders also approved the Ukrainian government on Monday night to provide € 9 billion to meet the immediate cash demand to sustain the economy.

On Tuesday, EU leaders were to discuss how to do it without Russia’s gas. Russian gas is more essential to some European countries than oil.

-“The reality of war”-

The adoption of this new sanctions package is due to the fact that Russian troops are losing their position in the eastern part of the country where they concentrated their troops after Ukrainian troops withdrew from the Kyiv region at the end of March and completed the occupation of Mariupol’s strategic port. is. (Southeast) May 20th.

Severodonetsk covered with smoke during a fierce battle between Russian and Ukrainian troops on May 30, 2022
Severodonetsk covered with smoke during a fierce battle between Russian and Ukrainian forces on May 30, 2022 (ARIS MESSINIS / AFP)

Russian troops are now in control of a “part” of Severodonetsk and are trying to bombard and capture for weeks, regional governor Sergii Guydai admitted Tuesday, saying the situation was “very complicated”. rice field.

Russia’s efforts are “focused on taking control of Severodonetsk,” summarizing Ukrainian troops on Tuesday morning in its daily update.

Russian troops have set the goal of controlling the entire large-scale mining basin of Donbus, which was partially controlled by Moscow-backed pro-Russian separatists in 2014.

Russian invasion of Ukraine
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (/ AFP)

The city of Severodonetsk, along with the neighboring city of Lysychans’k, located about 80 km from the provincial capital of Ukraine, Kramatorsk, is an important collective to achieve this.

It was in this area that French journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, who worked on the BFMTV channel on Monday, was killed.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter, “I was in Ukraine to show the reality of the war. I took a humane bus alongside civilians who were forced to flee to escape the Russian bomb.” Stated.

The city, which had 100,000 inhabitants before the war, said Tuesday that about 12,000 civilians trapped in combat and bombing could remain. In this city.

Dateless photo of French BFMTV journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff killed in Ukraine on May 30, 2022
Dateless photo of French BFM TV journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff killed in Ukraine on May 30, 2022 (handouts / BFM TV / AFP / Archives)

After distributing food and basic necessities to residents of Severodonetsk and the surrounding area until last week, “due to intensified fighting, distribution has become impossible,” Secretary-General Jan Egeland said in a press release. Evacuation of humanitarian organizations and civilians.

But without peace talks, even a one-off ceasefire seemed unlikely.

-A “safe corridor” for Ukrainian grain?

So far, negotiations appear to be focused on resuming Ukraine’s grain exports, which were to be blocked according to Kyiv by Russia’s blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea port and to be discussed at the EU Summit worldwide. It is fueling the food crisis.

Burning garage after being bombed in Risishansk in eastern Ukraine on May 30, 2022
The garage was set on fire on May 30, 2022 after a bombardment at Lyssychantsk in eastern Ukraine (ARIS MESSINIS / AFP).

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will visit Turkey on June 8 to discuss establishing a “safe corridor” for Ukraine’s grain transport, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevrut Chabsogur announced on Tuesday.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin is ready to cooperate with Turkey on the free movement of goods in the Black Sea, including “exporting grain from Ukrainian ports”, to Turkey’s President Regep Typ Erdogan in a telephone interview. He said it was done. Kremlin statement.

Pro-Russian separatists announced on Tuesday that they had resumed port activity in Mariupol, despite the devastation of this city in the Sea of ​​Azov, until the blockade of the Ukrainian port could be lifted.

“Today, 2,500 tons of rolled sheet metal have left the port of Mariupol’s shipping,” said Donetsk’s pro-Russian separatist leader in his telegraph messenger in the direction of the Russian city Rostov on the Don. is.

burx-cat / pz