An agreement on a new package of sanctions on Russia, following the country’s invasion of Ukraine, has been held up by disagreements between EU states over its scope. Some member countries, notably Hungary, have objected to plans to ban Russian oil. However, Polish deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Jabłoński assessed that a compromise on the matter is likely to be achieved.
“As for the sixth package of sanctions, there will be more talks today, we will see what their effect will be. We are quite close to concluding an agreement,” the official told the private broadcaster Radio Zet on Monday.
“Frankly speaking, [we are] rather closer than farther, and most likely no country – neither Hungary, nor Austria, Germany or anyone else will block it,” he added.
The EU has so far introduced five packages of sanctions against Russia in response to its military aggression toward Ukraine.
On Wednesday, May 4, Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission (EC), unveiled the sixth package of sanctions, including a “complete ban on all Russian oil” and refined petroleum products within the next six months and further sanctions against banks.
"Today we will propose to ban all Russian oil from Europe.
We will phase out Russian supply of crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of the year."
Speech by President @vonderleyen at #EPlenary → https://t.co/zV53A9ifKk#StandWithUkraine pic.twitter.com/euAXSxSuvd
— European Commission 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) May 4, 2022
Some EU states ‘still heavily dependant’ on Russia
Last week, as part of the sixth round of sanctions, the EC proposed to phase out supplies of Russian crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of 2022.
As Ms von der Leyen pointed out, the ban “will not be easy” to implement since some member states are heavily dependent on Russian oil.
On Friday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that his country could not support the EU’s new sanctions package in its present form, calling the EC’s proposals “an atomic bomb dropped on the Hungarian economy.”
Thus, he repeated the position expressed in the letter addressed to Ms von der Leyen in which he stressed that the Commission must not create a situation in which sanctions would cause more harm to Hungary than to Russia.
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