A Russian deputy defended this Thursday that the European Union (EU) will have to continue to use Russian oil because most European refineries are specifically adapted for Russian raw materials.
In reaction to the EU’s proposal for a gradual embargo on Russia’s oil for invading Ukraine, Vyacheslav Nikonov said countries in central Europe would have to continue to use it for technical reasons.
“The European Union is not going to stop buying Russian oil. Well, what kind of oil are they going to buy? Arab oil? Arab light oil can be processed in refineries in southern Europe, but there are simply no such facilities in central Europe.” , said Nikonov, quoted by the Russian agency TASS.
“Everything is oriented towards Russian oil, so they will buy ours,” assured the deputy, who is deputy chairman of the Duma’s Committee on International Affairs, the lower house of the Russian Federation’s parliament.
The European Commission proposal, released on Wednesday, provides for a gradual ban on oil imports by EU member states until the end of 2022, but includes an extra year for Hungary and Slovakia, two countries highly dependent on hydrocarbons. russians.
Hungary has announced that it will not support the proposal, which has to be approved unanimously, if the transport of oil by pipeline is not exempted from the restrictions.
The Czech Republic, which buys half of the oil it consumes from Russia, also asked for an exception period of two or three years.
In statements quoted by TASS, the Russian deputy said that to overcome the issue, some of the EU countries most dependent on Russian oil could be removed from the sanctions package and become suppliers of the rest.
He mentioned Hungary and Slovakia, the two countries already contemplated with an additional transition year in the European Commission’s proposal, but also the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.
“They will buy oil in unlimited quantities in Russia, they will become Europe’s biggest oil exporters and they will make good money out of it,” Nikonov told reporters.
The European Commission’s proposal, to which Lusa had access, prohibits, however, Hungary and Slovakia from selling Russian products to “another Member State or third country”.
Under the proposal, the two countries will have to notify the European Commission of all operations related to Russian oil, “including information on the counterpart, the quantities to be transferred and the expected delivery dates”.
The war in Ukraine has exposed the EU’s excessive energy dependence on Russia, which is responsible for around 45% of European gas imports.
Russia also supplies 25% of the oil and 45% of the coal imported by the EU.
Since the February 24 invasion of Ukraine, the EU and several countries, including the United States and Japan, have enacted successive sanctions packages against Russia.
The war in Ukraine entered its 71st day this Thursday, and there is still no provisional balance of civilian and military casualties, but which several sources, such as the UN, admit is considerably high.
The UN confirmed the death of more than 3,000 civilians and the flight of more than 5.5 million people from Ukraine to other countries.
FOLLOW ALL ABOUT THE WAR IN UKRAINE HERE