The settlement proposal is already on the table, but for some countries it does not go far enough: the oil embargo in particular continues to fail in three countries of the European Union.
After days of negotiations, the European Union countries did not reach an agreement on an oil embargo on Russia.
The Presidency of the French Council and the European Union Commission announced, on Sunday, that work is still underway on guarantees of supply security for some countries that are in a special situation regarding oil supplies through pipelines from Russia. In the past few days, the compromise proposals have been intensively discussed and important progress has been made. She added that talks at all levels will continue earlier in the week to adopt the sanctions package as soon as possible.
Countries are asking for exemptions
The European Union Commission had previously proposed giving Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic more time to fully implement the moratorium on deliveries. However, the proposal was not enough for many countries. They demanded more concessions – more time, but also financial support. Bulgaria, among other countries, also wants an exemption. The diplomatic community said that technical solutions for the affected countries will continue to work. In order for the sanctions package to be implemented, all countries must agree.
Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are highly dependent on Russian oil, which is all supplied via the Druzhba (Friendship) pipeline. According to the National Statistics Authority, the Czech Republic covered about half of its oil consumption from Russian sources in 2021. In Hungary, according to the government, 65 percent comes from Russia. According to the national operating company Transpetrol, Russia is the only source of oil for Slovakia. According to the EU Commission, deliveries to these countries represent only a very small percentage of the EU’s total imports of Russian oil.
Barley: Europe must become more independent
The Vice-President of the European Parliament, Katharina Barley (SPD), has called for an acceleration of the energy transition. “It has become clear that not only do we have to be independent from fossil fuels, but also from countries that we don’t really want to do business with,” Barley told dpa on Saturday. Qatar and Saudi Arabia are not a good alternative. As the most senior politician in the European Union, Barley was a guest at a cross-border celebration of Europe Day in Jubin and Gubin.
There is also a need for more autonomy in other industrial sectors, for example in the field of digitalisation. “We have to see that we also stabilize all of these technologies in Europe,” Barley said. “We can’t always rely on rational people ruling in the United States, for example, we’ve already seen that.” (dpa)
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