According to what European officials have said so far, the union will ban Russian tanker imports of crude oil and refined fuels like diesel, representing two-thirds of the continent’s purchases from Russia. The ban will be phased in over six months for crude and eight months for diesel and other refined fuels.
In addition, Germany and Poland have pledged to stop importing oil from Russia by pipeline, which means Europeans could reduce Russian imports by 3.3 million barrels a day by the end of the year.
And the union has said that European companies will no longer be allowed to insure tankers carrying Russian oil anywhere. That ban will also be phased in over several months. Because many of the world’s largest insurers are based in Europe, that move could significantly raise the cost of shipping Russian energy, though insurers in China, India and Russia itself might now pick up some of that business.
Before the invasion of Ukraine, roughly half of Russia’s oil exports went to Europe, representing $10 billion in transactions a month. Sales of Russian oil to E.U. members have declined somewhat in the last few months, and those to the United States and Britain have been eliminated.
Some energy analysts said the new European effort could help untangle Europe from Russian energy and limit Mr. Putin’s political leverage over Western countries.
“There are many geopolitical repercussions,” said Meghan L. O’Sullivan, director of the geopolitics of energy project at Harvard’s Kennedy School. “The ban will draw the United States more deeply into the global energy economy and it will strengthen energy ties between Russia and China.”
Another hope of Western leaders is that their moves will reduce Russia’s position in the global energy industry. The idea is that despite its efforts to find new buyers in China, India and elsewhere, Russia will export less oil overall. As a result, Russian producers will need to shut wells, which they will not be able to easily restart because of the difficulties of drilling and producing oil in inhospitable Arctic fields.