Union set

European Union set to ban Russian oil, ministers hold gas crisis talks

The European Union was preparing a ban on Russian oil, with possible exemptions for suspicious countries, as EU energy ministers held crisis talks on Monday over Moscow’s demand that foreign buyers pay ruble gas or lose their supply.

The UN human rights office (OHCHR) said on Monday that the number of civilians killed in Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24 had exceeded 3,000 people.

The death toll of 3,153 so far represents an increase of 254 from Friday.

The European Commission is expected this week to propose a sixth package of EU sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, including an embargo on the purchase of Russian oil – a measure that would deprive Moscow of a major flow of income, but which has so far divided the EU of countries.

Russia supplies 40% of the EU’s gas and 26% of its oil imports.

To keep the 27-nation bloc united, the Commission could offer Hungary and Slovakia an exemption or a long transition period – with the comprehensive ban to be phased in by the end of the year, say officials said. Hungary, which has said it will oppose energy sanctions, and Slovakia are heavily dependent on Russian crude.

EU countries have paid more than $47.43 billion to Russia for gas and oil since it invaded Ukraine on February 24, according to the Center for Energy Research and the fresh air. Reuters

Ukraine says it sank 2 Russian patrol boats

Kyiv said on Monday its drones sank two Russian patrol boats near Snake Island in the Black Sea, where Ukrainian soldiers had rebuffed Moscow’s requests to surrender at the start of its invasion. Agencies

Israel slams Russia for ‘Nazi’ remarks

On Monday, Israel lashed out at Russia over Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s “unforgivable” comments about Nazism and anti-Semitism – including claims that Adolf Hitler was Jewish. Israel said the remarks blamed Jews for their own murder in the Holocaust. PA

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