Russia’s sixth sanction package opens EU’s Pandora’s Box

(EurActiv, 5 May 2022) Budapest and Bratislava are unhappy with the European Commission’s proposal to ban Russian black gold despite being given extra time to phase it out, while Sofia and Prague have jumped on the bandwagon and are now asking for special treatment.

Moreover, sources said Greece and Cyprus raised objections to another proposal to ban all shipping companies that are EU-owned or have European interests from transferring Russian oil into Europe or elsewhere in the world.

Under the Commission’s proposal that would see a “complete ban on all Russian oil” within six months and refined petroleum products by the end of the year, Hungary and Slovakia would be allowed to continue buying from Moscow until the end of 2023 under existing contracts.

An EU diplomat told EURACTIV on condition of anonymity that for Europe, the big test is now, considering that it touches upon the core of sanctions against Moscow. 

“Politically, Europe cannot afford not adopting the sixth package,” the diplomat said, adding, however, that the equation will not be easy to solve. 

In an interview with EURACTIV in late February, the Russian ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, said energy is an area where the level of interdependence between Russia and the EU is high.

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EurActiv, 5 May 2022: Russia’s sixth sanction package opens EU’s Pandora’s Box