EU desperately pushing for deal on Russia oil sanctions
Top European Union diplomats meet to conclude Russian oil import penalties before the upcoming meeting.
Top European Union diplomats gathered on Monday in a last-ditch effort to reach an agreement on Russian oil import penalties before their leaders meet later in the day, hoping to prevent a display of division over the bloc's reaction to the war in Ukraine.
According to a fresh draft of the summit conclusions, the 27 leaders should agree that their next wave of sanctions will include oil, with a temporary exemption for crude carried by pipeline, a compromise that ambassadors were unable to reach on Sunday.
The text obtained by Reuters would confirm an agreement on seaborne oil restrictions, with pipeline oil supplies to landlocked Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic sanctioned at some time.
However, the wording hinted that the leaders meeting in Brussels in the afternoon would not approve the details of that temporary exception.
Instead, they will encourage ambassadors and ministers to find a solution that ensures fair competition between those who continue to get Russian oil and those who have been cut off.
According to one EU official, this represents "limited progress," with too many specifics needing to be worked out for a comprehensive agreement during the two-day summit, where leaders will have few concrete outcomes if the standoff over an oil embargo prevents a broader package of penalties from being on the table.
The EU leaders will reaffirm their continuous support for Ukraine, and they will address how to deal with the consequences of the war, particularly the rise in energy costs and the approaching food supply problem.