Some EU leaders are leaning towards a compromise that would ban supplies of Russian oil at sea but would temporarily exempt supplies via a major oil pipeline so that the EU bloc can reach an agreement on a new package of sanctions imposed on Russia. , reports Bloomberg, according to Agerpres.
This compromise solution would give Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban more time to finalize the technical details of the plan to drop Russian oil supplies to Hungary, sources said, adding that they wished to remain anonymous.
Most EU member states agree to an embargo on Russian oil in the sixth round of sanctions aimed at punishing Moscow for the conflict in Ukraine. But a unanimous decision is needed, and Hungary is the strongest critic of an embargo, while other Eastern European states are also opposed.
The business model of the Hungarian oil group MOL was built on Russian crude oil delivered through the Drujba pipeline, which provides 65% of Hungary’s oil needs. The Hungarian oil group claims that it would take 2-4 years and between 500 and 700 million dollars for its two refineries in Slovakia and Hungary to switch to processing another type of oil.
The European Commission, as part of a broader strategy to reduce Europe’s energy dependence on Russia, has said it will fund up to two billion euros in infrastructure investment in the Member States, but even these potential investments have not yet convinced Hungary.
The European Union and member states are expected to continue discussing various options on Friday, according to Bloomberg sources.
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