EU countries are fighting for an oil embargo against Russia

Dhe EU countries still cannot agree on an oil embargo against Russia. The background is a dispute over exceptions for some states that are particularly dependent on Russian oil. A next round of negotiations between the permanent representatives of the states was scheduled for Sunday, as the French EU Council Presidency announced on Twitter.

The EU Commission had previously proposed a compromise that would give Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic more time to fully implement the delivery stop. For several countries, however, the proposal did not go far enough.

struggle for concessions

Diplomats said bilateral talks were ongoing with Hungary and other countries. The countries had therefore demanded further concessions, such as more time, but also financial support. Bulgaria, among others, also wants an exemption.

The sanctions package can only be implemented if all countries agree. The aim is to finalize the package by the weekend – it is still unclear whether this will succeed.

Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are heavily dependent on Russian oil, all of which is supplied via the Druzhba (Friendship) pipeline. According to the national statistics authority, the Czech Republic covered around half of its oil consumption from Russian sources in 2021.

In Hungary, according to the government, 65 percent come from Russia. According to the national operating company Transpetrol, Russia is the only source of oil for Slovakia. According to the EU Commission, deliveries to these countries only account for a very small proportion of total EU imports of Russian oil.

With a view to the Ukraine war and the planned embargo on Russian oil, the Vice President of the European Parliament, Katarina Barley (SPD), has called for the energy transition to be speeded up. “It has become clear that we must not only become independent of fossil fuels, but also of countries with which we actually do not want to do business,” said Barley. Qatar and Saudi Arabia are not a good alternative. As EU top politician, Barley was a guest at a cross-border celebration of Europe Day in Guben and Gubin.

More independence is also needed in other industrial sectors, for example in the area of ​​digitization. “We have to make sure that we also settle all these technologies in Europe,” said Barley. “We can’t always rely on sensible people governing in the USA, for example, we’ve already seen that.”


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