Europe’s Russian oil embargo

The European Union is fighting for a sixth round of sanctions against Russia. Some countries refuse one oil Embargo.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, has proposed a six-month phase-out of Russian oil as part of broader moves to undermine President Vladimir Putin’s government. Hungary and Slovakia, two EU countries heavily dependent on Russian energy, have until 2023 to meet the new requirements. However, this long term was not enough and both countries wanted more.

The EU cannot agree to the more extensive penalty package because of the standstill.

Hungary was the EU’s most staunch opponent of the oil embargo. According to Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a longtime Putin ally, cutting off Russian oil supplies would be a “nuclear bomb” on the Hungarian economy.

Budapest is also a customer of Russian natural gas, with imports from Moscow increasing in recent years. According to Eurostat, Hungary’s imports of Russian natural gas increased from 9.070 million cubic meters in 2010 to 17.715 million cubic meters in 2019.

Orban previously backed EU sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine; although Orban has developed strong economic ties with Russia over the past decade; he has also frequently bragged about his close relationship with Putin.

For example, they had intimate relationships during the coronavirus epidemic. Hungary became the first EU country to buy a Russian-made Covid vaccine, despite European regulators not approving it.

An EU official, who asked not to be named because of the sensitive nature of the negotiations, called Hungary’s “stubbornness” a “sad thing”.

The EU became even more dependent on this raw material.

Meanwhile, the G-7 announced their intention to reduce reliance on it Russian energy on Sunday. The US went so far as to propose sanctions against Gazprombank executives and other Russian companies.

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Callan Tansill

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