The purpose of EU sanctions is to force Russia end its war on Ukraine and negotiate a peace deal, the German chancellor said on Tuesday.
"The purpose of the sanctions is to make Russia end this war, withdraw its troops and sit down with the parties to negotiate peace," Olaf Scholz told a news conference after a European Council meeting in Brussels.
Scholz said the sixth package of sanctions, which includes an embargo on Russian oil imports by the end of the year, “will make another contribution towards Russia having to pay consequences for its actions.”
“As a consequence of the decisions we've taken, roughly 90% of Russian oil exports will be affected,” he said, adding that a few European countries temporarily exempted from the sanctions or all deliveries arriving by pipeline “because these countries will have to take transitional measures and it will take some time for them to prepare.”
Russian oil transported through the Soviet-era Druzhba pipeline for Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia is exempt from the embargo.
All sanctions “will make it more difficult for Russia to act efficiently,” said the German leader.
He added that the two-day EU leaders meeting “has clearly presented a picture of unity and shown and expressed great solidarity with Ukraine.”
On Germany’s plans to increase defense spending, Scholz said “the federal armed forces will be much better equipped, will be much stronger thus be able to make a greater contribution towards our common defense.”
World leaders including Türkiye’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, France’s Emmanuel Macron and Scholz have constantly urged for a peaceful solution to the war, which started in February and has left thousands dead or wounded, and forced more than 6.3 million people in Ukraine to flee abroad.
In an interview earlier this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said diplomacy would ultimately end the war, despite the current suspension of negotiations.