Russian oil ban stuck for a week

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Hungary continues to demand a near-complete exemption while Greece, Cyprus or Malta want their ships to continue transporting crude to other parts of the world.

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The fifth package of sanctions against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine took nearly three days to be approved and created a sense of helplessness and significant doubt in Brussels. The previous ones came out in record time, all pushing one as the bombs fell. The fifth was the one that affected Coal, with a transition period of up to four months to be able to honor contracts, but discussions between the 27 ambassadors in Brussels, and tensions between those who wanted more margins and those who were not. Already advocated cutting for good, the seams of the increasingly unstable position showed. Now, raising the tone even more and of course trying to separate the EU from Russian oil, seams are about to pop.

There is one part that is seen, the more obvious, and the other that is not. Hungara He is the one who is most vehemently opposed to the package proposed seven days ago. He has been saying for weeks that he does not agree with going after hydrocarbons, that it is too radical, that there is no alternative, that it is too expensive, that it is impossible. And even that is dangerous, for economies beyond. she has said it over and over Viktor Orban And their interlocutors are making it clear through every minister, from the European commissioner to the ambassadors of their nationality. This is the main reason for packet closure.

It’s not just crude, as there are plans to add more Russian military and civilians as well. Community blacklists that already have over 1,000 names, which means freezing of assets or a ban on entry into the European Union. From former gymnast Alina Kabaeva, to Putin’s alleged mistress, Cyril, the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church and a confident apologist for Putin. Orban is also opposing this and his companions there are no longer understanding at all.

Hungary has been systematically vetoing foreign policy measures for years, particularly those relating to Israel, China and Russia. Until now he was wary of sanctions (some began to be imposed after the annexation of Crimea) but now there are no masks. Orban believes that his country is not ready to do without Russian oil and does not accept the plans laid on the table by the Commission and accepted by most of the partners, which would cut crude imports. Six months to complete and a year for refinement by the end. but tailor made to offer Hungara, Slovakia it is included czech republic, which would give them an extra year. Or even two. He wants complete exemption, to be completely excluded. And so there is no agreement yet.

There is sense for 27 of the specific situations, despite the fact that warnings to reduce energy dependence have been going on for years. They understand that a completely dependent country like Slovakia will need time to find other suppliers or replace its infrastructure, which can only refine Russian crude. And you will also need a very significant financial support. And the same goes for the demands of Greece, Malta hey sticky, who want their ships to be able to transport Russian oil to other parts of the world. But in Budapest the willpower seems to be very low. The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, apparently traveled on Monday to discuss the issue directly with Orban, and it did not go well. His team, always ready to publicize their tours, initiatives and meetings, kept a very low profile and did not want to offer comments or images.

Nothing was resolved from the meeting and, at Orban’s request, a teleconference was proposed with the affected countries, and with France, who is still the president of the European Union this semester, but which was supposed to happen this Tuesday , it was adjourned without specific reasons. Over the weekend, 27 ambassadors, known as Korpar, met to attempt to unblock the issue, but were unable to do so. The Council of Foreign Ministers is in Brussels on Monday. The person in charge of French European affairs. Clement Boune, indicated this Tuesday that he counts on a deal throughout the week, but not on what basis. It’s clear that there has to be a tailored suit for Orban. Right now the situation is practical: something better than nothing. And a compromise on 27 is more powerful, even if there are inexplicable exemptions, than a voluntary agreement on 26 with the same result and a worse image.

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