The member states of the European Union (EU) were unable to reach an agreement to ban oil imports from Russia, due to the war in Ukraine, given the energy dependence of some countries.
Ambassadors of EU countries met this Sunday for approximately an hour and a half, but were unable to reach an agreement, with the oil embargo remaining the main obstacle to the sixth package of sanctions against the Kremelin, according to diplomatic sources, quoted by the EFE agency.
At issue is, above all, the dependence of some countries on oil imports from Russia.
However, “very important progress has been made”, although there is still work to be done to reach an agreement.
In particular, Budapest, Bratislava and Prague want to ensure a sufficient supply for when they stop importing Russian crude, on which they are dependent.
Next week, the EU will continue with contacts “at all levels” to reach an agreement “as soon as possible”, the same sources said.
The community executive wants to ban Russian oil imports into the European Union for six months after the sanctions come into force.
In the case of refined oil, the suspension lasts for eight months.
The sanctions would also veto all possible technical assistance services, direct or indirect, and all intermediation services, including financial and insurance, that are related to the ban on Russian oil.
In addition, to prevent Russian oil tankers from being able to evade sanctions, the text calls for a ban on the transport of Russian oil in all its forms, including “ship-to-ship” cargo transfers from Russian vessels to vessels in other countries.
On the financial front, Brussels proposes to add Sberbank, the largest Russian bank, to the list of Russian banking institutions excluded from the Swift international transaction system, as well as the 100% state-owned Agricultural Bank of Russia and the Moscow Credit Bank.
Brussels also proposed sanctioning people, such as the Russian colonel known as the “butcher of Bucha” or the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, and 20 companies linked to the Ministry of Defense or the Russian Army, as well as three media outlets.
Countries such as Hungary, Slovakia or the Czech Republic are asking for a longer transition period to get rid of this fuel, although Brussels has raised an exception for Budapest and Bratislava.
Although not originally included in the deal, Prague has also publicly called for a two- or even three-year delay to detach itself from Russian oil.
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