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Unable to find a common voice, the EU “lowered ambitions” to punish Russian oil

Accordingly, Hungary and other member countries can continue to buy Russian oil from pipelines. This once again shows the challenges facing the European Union in handling relations with Russia because the 27-member bloc has become too dependent on Russian gas, oil and coal.

Under the new proposal, the EU embargo would not cover oil and gas transported through pipelines, but would focus only on supplies via shipping. This also means that Europe accepts to reduce the weight of sanctions to maintain the united front of the European Union in the confrontation of Russia. European sources said that EU diplomats could reach agreement on the proposal just before the European Council meeting opens tomorrow.

As the longest serving prime minister in the European Union, Hungarian leader Viktor Orban is adamantly opposed to any embargo on Russian crude and refined fuels, arguing that such an action would be severe blow to the country’s economy.

“We will not allow anyone to make the Hungarians pay for the war,” said Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto. We have red lines and that’s the supply energy safe. 65% of our oil needs come from Russia and in the event this ban comes into effect, Hungary’s economy will be shaken, because it will not be able to buy enough oil to run the country and the economy.”

Hungary’s opposition has made the prospect of reaching an agreement on a sixth package of sanctions against Russia at the European Union Council meeting later this month more difficult. If the EU-wide ban on Russian oil imports is not passed, individual countries could end up doing their own thing and possibly even disrupting the united front that the 27-member bloc maintains. shown so far.

At a recent meeting with the Group of 7 leading industrialized industries (G7), German Economy Minister Robert Habeck once again emphasized the need to reduce Russia’s dependence on oil: “It is important to remain Europe must unite. That is why all countries must work to reduce their dependence on oil. That includes Hungary. If you take that as a basis for discussion, an agreement is possible. Intensive discussions are underway and the upcoming European Council meeting will decide whether we reach an agreement or must consider other tools.”

According to Bloomberg News, the European effort is clearly under test. And in fact, already 3 European countries (Poland, Bulgaria and Finland) have had to see their gas supplies shrink significantly due to their refusal to pay for Russian gas in rubles. Some European energy companies are even willing to look for “detours” to buy gas from Russia, even though this may get them “whispered”.

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