No European consensus for a Russian oil embargo

Hungary continues to block an agreement of twenty-seven on the cessation of imports of Russian hydrocarbons; The G7 promises a gradual reduction in its energy dependence in Moscow.


It would have looked great, but the objective was not achieved: the twenty-seven did not manage to agree before Monday, May 9, 72 e day of day Europe, on the new sanctions train – the sixth – having to target Russia. Long negotiations have started in recent days after a proposal from the committee formulated on May 4, aimed at stopping importing Russian crude oil after six months, as well as refined products by the end of the year .

One year derogations were planned for Hungary and Slovakia, landlocked and largely dependent on supply by Russia. Secondly, they were extended to the Czech Republic and then extended until the end of 2024. This was not enough and, over the discussions, other member countries (Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Malta) argued their own difficulties.

The deracting of the project, feared by the French Presidency of the Union, threatened and, on Sunday, a new round of negotiations between the ambassadors in Brussels was interrupted, to the chagrin of those who hoped to dispel the image of A blockage not technical, but political.

The problem of supply security

In the elements of language disseminated after this umpteenth discussion, we find the assertion that the Council (States) remains united on the principle of additional sanctions, that solidarity remains in order and that the culmination of the work is close . The security of supply of all, including those who are landlocked and depend on a Russian pipeline, would be the only concern.

Will a new text in preparation overcome the reluctance of Viktor Orban, the Hungarian Prime Minister? On May 6, he estimated that the commission’s proposal “undermined the EU unity”, crossed a “red line” or that it was akin to “an atomic bomb”. The ambassadors in Brussels put these inflamed remarks on the account of the usual rhetoric of the leader of Budapest and tapped on the more accommodating attitude of his representatives in Brussels. A hope showered on Sunday, with the confirmation of a veto of the Hungarian government and his requirement of a complete exemption – he claimed five years at the start – while Bulgaria in turn claimed a derogation.

The dreaded scenario – a fracture within the community block hitherto united against Moscow – therefore seems to be outlined, even though a differently more difficult discussion should take place soon and relate to gas imports. “We will have to succeed on Monday or Tuesday, I think it remains possible, commented a diplomatic source on Sunday evening. For the future, we will see.” “Showing the opinion that we act is essential while, since February 24 [Date of the invasion of Ukraine] We offered 50 billion in Putin by important fossil fuels “, storms another diplomat.

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/Media reports.