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War in Ukraine: EU bans most Russian oil, targets Putin’s alleged girlfriend with sanctions


The European Union (EU) on Friday declared a ban on most Russian oil imports and cut off Russian bank Sberbank from the SWIFT global messaging system.

The EU also froze the assets of President Vladimir Putin’s alleged girlfriend, Alina Kabaeva, and blacklisted her for visa bans along with Russian military officials suspected of war crimes in Bucha, in Ukraine.

The EU proposes to block 90% of Russian oil imports by the end of the year.

The move comes as OPEC+ countries moved to boost oil production in July even as oil prices continued to rise.

Read also in pictures: How Ukraine can win a fierce battle against Russia in the Donbass

Amid the ban on Russian oil, Serbia said it had successfully completed a three-year natural gas deal with Russia amid condemnation from the EU. Russia previously halted gas supplies to Finland due to the country’s insistence on paying in dollars while Russia insisted on being paid in roubles.

Meanwhile, Russia continued to blame Western countries for the food crisis, saying the Black Sea was heavily mined, which blocked the supply of Ukrainian wheat to ports. Russia and Ukraine are the world’s main suppliers of wheat.

Watch: Rape victims in Ukraine suffer in silence

The war in Ukraine entered its 100th day on Friday as Russian forces continued their push into eastern Donbass. Although President Zelensky claimed that “victory will be ours”, the president acknowledged that at least 20% of the territory had been lost to Russia since the invasion began on February 24.

Ukraine said it was engaging Russian forces in the city of Severodonetsk despite heavy shelling. As Russian forces continued to push, the Biden administration said it would send advanced rocket launch systems to Ukraine.

In the latest sanctions, the United States blacklisted a Monegasque company that supplies luxury yachts to wealthy people in Russia as Western countries continue to target Putin’s regime.

(With agency contributions)

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