German Economy Minister Robert Hebeck estimates that a European embargo on Russian oil will be possible “within a few days”, while there is no consensus on the issue within twenty-seven.
“Only a few states remain, especially Hungary, which have reported problems,” Hebek told ZDF public television on Monday evening. But “discussions continue” and “I think we will reach a turning point in a few days.”
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Europeans have already announced that Russian coal imports will end in August. But the oil embargo by the end of the year is still under discussion.
He said European sanctions should be decided unanimously. According to Hebeck, “the barrier can be achieved”.
First, Brussels plans to stop imports of Russian crude oil and refined products by six months by the end of 2022.
But Hungary currently rejects these sixth sanctions proposed by the commission’s chairman, Ursula von der Leyen.
Despite being close to Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Victor Orban, who has so far endorsed all European sanctions, fears rising prices.
Surrounded by land and without access to the sea, Hungary relies on oil from the Trushpa pipeline from Russia. Budapest has demanded exemptions for distribution this way, which represents a small fraction of the 0.7 million barrels of European purchases of 2.8 million barrels per day.
The two-year humiliation meted out to Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic was not enough by the Hungarian government. It has asked European funds for at least four years and nearly 800 million euros to renovate its refineries and increase the capacity of the Adria pipeline from Croatia.
After the invasion of Ukraine, the European Union sought to rapidly reduce its dependence on Russian gas.