Saturday, May 25, 2024
HomeOil & GasHungary and Slovakia may be exempt from Russian oil embargo
Powered by

Hungary and Slovakia may be exempt from Russian oil embargo

The European Commission may spare Hungary and Slovakia from an embargo on buying Russian oil, now under preparation, considering how dependent the two countries are on Russian crude, writes Reuters citing two EU officials.

The news comes after German ZDF television channel reported that Hungary, Slovakia and Austria were withdrawing their veto blocking sanctions on Russian crude oil imports into the European Union.

Citing a high-ranking EU official, ZDF said that Germany’s announcement to support the veto had tipped the balance, with all EU countries now in favour of stopping the imports of Russian crude oil, as a punitive measure in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

However, the news was refuted by Hungary’s State Secretary for International Communications, Zoltán Kovács, who stated in a Facebook post that Hungary’s stance regarding embargoes on Russian oil and gas has not changed. “We do not support them,” wrote the Hungarian State Secretary.

Last week, Hungarian oil group, MOL said it would take up to four years and cost up to 700 million US dollars to replace Russian oil imports in case of a full European embargo.

“Central Europe and Hungary are not in a situation to replace Russian oil and crude oil products overnight. This would cause very serious disruption for the whole region,” MOL Chairman and CEO Zsolt Hernadi told MOL’s annual general meeting.

“If no Russian oil were to arrive as of tomorrow on the Friendship pipeline, then we could not physically ensure the current consumption levels with products imported from elsewhere,” Mr Hernadi underlined.

The European Commission is expected to finalise on Tuesday the next, and sixth package of EU sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine, which would include a ban on buying Russian oil. The EU ban on Russian oil by the end of this year is designed to give EU countries time to find other suppliers.

After initially resisting, Germany is now supporting an oil embargo. German Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck called the country’s goal to reduce dependency on Russian oil by the end of summer realistic.

However, Hungary, heavily dependent on Russian oil, has repeatedly said it would not sign up for sanctions involving energy. Slovakia is also one of the EU countries most reliant on Russian fossil fuels.

Offering an exemption to Hungary and Slovakia could be an option to maintain the unity of the 27-nation bloc. If the EU agrees on an oil embargo it will send shock waves through the world economy.

Sign up for our newsletters

    Monthly newsletter – Delivering the most important energy stories of the month selected by our Editor-in-chief
    Weekly Oil&Gas roundup - All major news about the oil and gas industry, LNG developments, the upscaling of new gases and related EU regulations arriving in your mailbox every Monday.
    Weekly Renewables&Climate roundup - All major news about investments in renewable energy sources, environment protection, green hydrogen and new innovative ways to tackle the climate crisis arriving in your mailbox every Tuesday.

    Most Popular