A European Union embargo on Russian oil is looking increasingly likely. According to our latest information, three countries, including Hungary, are withdrawing their vetoes. What triggers these moves can easily be Germany’s influence. The European Commission’s proposal would ban Russian oil products in the EU by the end of 2022. However, Hungary and Slovakia could get certain exemptions and transitional measures.
According to ZDF, there is now nothing standing in the way of the European Union regarding its decision on blocking the Russian oil embargo.
Hungary, Austria and Slovakia have withdrawn their vetoes.
According to a senior EU diplomat, the critical factor was that the German government would not put the brakes on the embargo. “There will be a decision on the embargo in the next few days, but it will only be implemented in the next couple of months,” said Florian Neuhann, a correspondent for ZDF.
Hungary and Slovakia have opposed a rapid import ban because they are highly dependent on Russian oil,
writes portfolio.hu. Southern European countries such as Spain, Italy and Greece fear a post-embargo energy price hike. The German turnaround may have come about because of the country’s success in finding alternative oil suppliers.
Germany has reduced its dependence on Russian oil from 35 per cent to 12 per cent within 8 weeks since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.
Restricting Russian oil imports can be achieved in two ways. There could be a longer transition period before a permanent halt. However, it is also likely that instead of a complete ban, there would only be a restriction on the quantity.
Several compromises could be reached on the Russian oil embargo. There would certainly be time for adaptation and adjustment. It would not be an overnight total ban.
The EU oil embargo would distinguish between Russian oil types and oil derivatives.
It would also make a difference whether the oil comes to the EU by tanker or pipeline. Most of the oil delivered to Hungary and Slovakia arrives through the Friendships pipeline, index.hu reports. The EU apparently aims to take into account the specific needs of each member state when designing the oil embargo package.
The Hungarian government has made it clear to Brussels that the Hungarian veto was not political but economic.
Source: portfolio.hu, index.hu, zdf.de