US extends sanctions exemption for energy payments to Russia

·1-min read

Washington said Tuesday it will continue to allow payments to Russia for energy products through December 5, to give European countries time to prepare for a near-total oil embargo in retaliation for Moscow's war on Ukraine.

The exemption from devastating US financial sanctions, which effectively severed Russia from most of the global financial system, was due to expire June 24.

The renewed carve-out will "align our regulations with the implementation timing of the European Union's ban on crude oil" from Russia, a Treasury spokesperson told AFP.

"This license will provide for an orderly transition to help our broad coalition of partners reduce their dependence on Russian energy as we work to restrict the Kremlin's revenue sources."

The 27-nation EU agreed in late May to a sixth package of sanctions that will halt the majority of imports of Russian oil, but exempted crude delivered by pipeline in a concession to hold-out Hungary.

The US had already banned Russian oil, but European nations are much more dependent on those imports.

Energy is a major source of income for Vladimir Putin's government, and Western nations are trying to isolate Moscow and impede the ability to continue the war.

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