It takes about a week to reach an agreement in the EU on the 6th package of sanctions against Russiawhich includes a gradual embargo on Russian oil by the end of the year, according to European diplomatic sources who spoke to AMPE.
Discussions on the Russian oil embargo continue at all levels. Today the issue of Russian oil will be discussed at the level of ambassadors (Coreper) and on May 16 at EU Council of Foreign Ministers.
The biggest “brake” in reaching an agreement is Hungary, as well as Slovakia and Bulgaria seeking energy security guarantees. Hungary, among other things, is asking the EU to finance the infrastructure that the country will need to be able to become independent of Russian oil by the end of 2024, although it insists that more time is needed. Slovakia and Bulgaria are making similar demands. According to European diplomatic sources who spoke to AMPE, the difficulties are not expected to be resolved before 18 May, when the Commission will present its plan for the gradual energy independence of the EU, the “REPowerEU”. This plan is considering including the financial support requested by Hungary.
It is worth noting that the Commission’s representative Eric Mammer made it clear that the meeting of the President of the Commission with the Prime Minister of Hungary in Budapest was not about timetables, but focused on issues related to the the country’s energy infrastructure and refineries. After the meeting, Hungary reiterated that it could not support the sanctions package until its concerns were addressed. At the same time, Eric Mammer pointed out that the Commission recognizes that Hungary and other countries are significantly dependent on Russian oil and that they are in a special situation that requires “special solutions”. He also said that the teleconference between the leaders of the peripheral countries. announced by the President of the Commission, will take place when there is technical progress.
Finally, according to the same sources who spoke to AMPE, the proposal to ban the transfer of oil to third countries from ships with European flags was removed from the 6th package of sanctions. This was because it was understood that third powers were not going to lift this embargo.