EU inches closer to ban on Russian oil, with exemptions

(EurActiv, 30 May 2022) EU leaders gathering in Brussels on Monday (30 May) are set to discuss whether to give the political green light to watered-down plans for a full embargo on Russian oil, thrashed out by EU diplomats on Monday morning.

According to the latest draft of the summit conclusions, seen by EURACTIV, leaders could agree on the general frame of the sixth package of sanctions against Moscow on Monday, after giving up on a complete ban on Russian oil to circumvent a veto threat from Hungary.

This round of energy sanctions would therefore include “crude oil, as well as petroleum products, delivered from Russia into member states, with a temporary exception for crude oil delivered by pipeline”, a thinly veiled reference to central European countries that get oil by pipeline.

The latest draft came after EU ambassadors failed to reach an agreement on Sunday on a compromise plan, which already indicated that the final deal could fall short of the complete ban initially proposed by the European Commission.

Instead, there is a political agreement, still to be approved by EU leaders, to only ban seaborne oil, with the exemption for the pipeline oil still being supplied to landlocked Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Arriving at the EU leaders meeting, Hungarian President Viktor Orbán told journalists that there was no compromise and “no agreement at all” on the oil ban.

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EurActiv, 30 May 2022: EU inches closer to ban on Russian oil, with exemptions