Germany backs phased ban on Russian oil

The German government has said it supports a gradual ban on Russian oil imports into the EU, as Brussels officials try to reach an agreement on an embargo as part of the latest package of sanctions against Moscow.

Jörg Kokis, one of Chancellor Olaf Schultz’s close advisers, said Berlin was in favor of an oil embargo, but needed “several months” to prepare for a halt to Russian oil shipments.

“We are asking for a considered respite period,” he told the Financial Times. “We want to stop buying Russian oil, but we need some time to make sure we can bring other oil sources into our country.”

The European Commission is preparing a sixth package of sanctions against Russia over its war against Ukraine, which is now in its third month. The measures are expected to focus on Russian oil, and Russian and Belarusian banks, as well as private individuals and other companies.

More than a quarter From the EU’s imported crude oil Arriving from Russia and Commission officials met with the ambassadors of the member states one-on-one this weekend in an effort to find a rough agreement on the terms and details of each move to halt Russian oil imports. They hope to formulate an official offer by Tuesday.

Ambassadors will discuss this proposal on Wednesday, said two sources involved in the discussions, and warned that no final agreement could be reached at that meeting.

Some countries are also pushing for other measures such as a price cap or tariff on Russian oil. While all EU countries agree on the need to reduce Russian oil imports, some member states are more opposed to the idea of ​​an embargo than others. The oil infrastructure adapted to Russia and Slovakia of Hungary and Slovakia and their status without land means that they have few alternative supply options and will also have to renovate their physical oil processing network. “It’s not just a question of making a political decision, but also an engineering issue,” said a senior EU official.

Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Urban warned that Hungary “will not succumb to any pressure to extend sanctions against Russia to gas or oil, as it will kill the Hungarian economy.” Secretary of State Peter Shijarto told CNN last week that 85% of Hungary’s gas supply and 65% of its oil came from Russia and that there are no “alternative shipping routes that would allow us to get rid of Russian and Russian oil. Gas in the next two years… We have done everything we can to diversify “.

Germany, too, will have to adapt quickly if an oil embargo takes effect. The biggest challenge is presented by two refineries in East Germany, Schwedt and Leuna, which rely heavily on Russian oil. Both are connected to a pipeline known as the Druzeva (“Friendship”) that draws crude oil directly from Russia.

Cookies said work is underway to ensure that Schwedt, which is operated by Russia’s oil chief Rosneft, can be supplied by tankers that will carry non-Russian oil into Rostock in the Baltic Sea. But for that to happen, “one has to deepen the port of Rostock and work on the connecting pipe [it] To Shvett. “He added:” It’s a matter of a few months. “

He said officials were in talks with “several oil companies, the European Commission and the Polish government” about providing alternatives to Sweden, a process he said was “challenging”. But he insisted that Germany “solve all the problems by the end of the year at the latest”.

The debate over oil sanctions comes at a time when EU energy ministers are due to hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the implications of Russian gas company Gazprom’s decision to suspend shipments to Poland and Bulgaria last week. Russia has turned off the gas tap after the two countries refused to comply with the Kremlin’s order to regulate payments in rubles. Brussels has warned member states that this will be the case In violation of EU sanctions.

Germany backs phased ban on Russian oil Source link Germany backs phased ban on Russian oil

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