EU considers more funds for east Europe in bid for deal on Russia oil ban

The European Commission is considering offering landlocked eastern European Union states more money to upgrade oil infrastructure in a bid to convince them to agree to an embargo on Russian oil, an EU source told Reuters on Monday.

The measures are part of a wider package of new sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, but the adoption of the legal text still needs an agreement on the size of the investment, the source said, adding another sticking point was Cyprus’s concerns about a proposed ban on the sale of real estate to Russians. Horse trading after the Commission put forward its original sanctions document last week has delayed approval, and the text has already been revised once to try to win over sceptics.

Its third version, which is currently being drafted, is likely to drop a ban for EU tankers to carry Russian oil, the source said, after pressure from Greece, Cyprus and Malta. EU companies would, however, be prevented from offering insurance and other financial services for the transport of Russian oil worldwide.

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