New try. This Sunday, the ambassadors of the 27 EU countries are meeting again to try to close the agreement on a gradual embargo on Russian oil, announced on Tuesday by the European Commission and which has not yet been closed. The difficulties mainly arise from concerns expressed by Hungary and Slovakia due to their heavy dependence on fossil fuels and their difficulty in obtaining alternative sources due to their lack of access to the sea.
The ambassadors have already tried to conclude an agreement on Wednesday and Friday, but without success, and the French presidency of the Council of the EU has scheduled a new meeting this Saturday for Sunday. The European Commission’s original proposal called for a period of six months for oil, with an additional year’s moratorium for Bratislava and Budapest, which for their part asked for an extension until 2025.
#PFUE2022 | Demen at the end of the day #COREPERII ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/2fjCAnyiOR
— French President of the Council of Europe 🇫🇷🇪🇺 (@Europe2022FR) May 7, 2022
Negotiations are taking place between these fields, which European Commission Vice President Maros Šefvović limited this Saturday to technical issues in an interview with La Stampa, apart from the fact that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Russia’s main ally President Vladimir Putin, is among the 27 people. Orban’s resistance to the oil embargo is not ideological, as “the technical and economic basis of the arguments used are quite strong,” says Shefkovic.
Orban’s resistance to the oil embargo is not ideological, given that “the techno-economic basis of the arguments used is a strong proposition.”
His @LaStampa interviewed EC VP @MarosSefcovic pic.twitter.com/AyhG2O7cor
— Marco Bresolin (@marcobreso) May 7, 2022
Diplomatic sources acknowledge that it is becoming increasingly difficult to approve sanctions because they have more and more consequences in the countries that apply them. But at the same time, they make it clear that since the official proposal began to circulate on Tuesday afternoon, the days are ticking and the decision cannot be delayed for long.
In this sense, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban used very strong language to define the European Commission’s latest proposal for sanctions. According to Orban, the main ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the refusal of Russian oil in the proposed number of 27 would mean an “atomic bomb” for the economy of the Central European country. “The proposal that is on the table creates a problem, not a solution to the problem. This is unacceptable from the Hungarian point of view,” Orban explained in his Friday speech on public radio Kossuth.
Orban said the Brussels proposal also fails to take into account the different geographic conditions of each country, which, in the case of Hungary, does not have the ability to import oil by sea, and oil “only comes from Russia through a pipeline.” .”
Hungary imports 60% of oil and 85% of gas from Russia.
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