The European Commission (EC) has proposed to the EU countries to introduce a partial oil embargo against Russia instead of a full one. This is stated in a document sent by the EC on the eve of the summit in Brussels. Its content was broadcast on Saturday, May 28, by Bloomberg.
Thus, it was proposed to temporarily exclude the Druzhba oil pipeline from the draft embargo against the Russian Federation. The lockdown can be postponed until June or December 2024, the article says.
It is noted that the Druzhba pipeline is the main source of crude oil imports to Hungary. That is why this country has blocked a new package of restrictions against the Russian Federation.
“This proposal will give Hungary, which opposed the deal, more time to find a technical solution that will meet its energy needs,” the agency cited its sources as saying.
However, they added that the new draft embargo would also take into account “the concerns of other landlocked countries, including Slovakia and the Czech Republic.”
Against this background, it was proposed to include in the draft embargo a restriction on the re-export of Russian oil to other member states or third countries.
The EU ambassadors plan to meet on Sunday, May 29, to discuss the revised package, Bloomberg added.
On May 18, it was reported that the sixth package of anti-Russian sanctions of the European Union (EU) was blocked. According to the European Commissioner for Economic Affairs Paolo Gentiloni, five packages of sanctions before that were adopted very quickly and unanimously, but the sixth package, for well-known reasons, is still standing. These reasons were disagreements over the embargo on oil from the Russian Federation.
Commenting on the blocking, adviser to the Ukrainian Minister of Energy Elena Zerkal accused Hungary of blackmailing the European Union, saying that it allegedly took advantage of the situation in Ukraine and is trying to prevent the introduction of an oil embargo on products from the Russian Federation. At the same time, the official recalled that Kyiv “has an excellent leverage in its hands for pressure – this is the Druzhba oil pipeline.”
On May 12, the Politico newspaper reported that the European Union was considering postponing the embargo on oil from Russia because of Hungary’s position.
On May 6, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that the imposition of an EU embargo on energy resources from the Russian Federation is tantamount to an atomic bomb for the Hungarian economy. According to him, the country will need at least five years, as well as funds for restructuring to a different order and reorganization of production.
Western countries are imposing new sanctions against the Russian Federation in response to the military operation carried out by Moscow since February 24 to protect Donbass. At the same time, inflation and prices in the EU and the US are already breaking records.
The Druzhba oil pipeline originates in the Samara region, passes through Bryansk and then branches into northern and southern sections, passing through the territory of Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania. The pipeline ensures the export of oil from Russia to Europe. The Ukrainian section of the pipeline is owned by Ukrtransnafta. Russia pays for transit.