Von der Leyen: No conclusion on EU's embargo on Russian oil
A new embargo on Russian oil, though it has been brewing for weeks, will not be in effect as long as Hungary is blocking it.
On Monday, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen revealed that there won't be much chance that the European Council will come up with a new oil embargo on Russian oil within the next 48 hours.
This comes along with the Hungarian Prime Minister's refusal of an agreement to force new sanctions on Russian oil. "There is no compromise at this moment at all. There is no agreement at all," Viktor Orban declared.
The PM stated that if energy security solutions were discovered for his landlocked nation, he would agree to the sixth package of sanctions. He also praised the European Union's plan to exclude Russia's pipeline oil supply from the sixth round of sanctions.
The Council has convened a meeting to discuss the situation in Ukraine, in addition to energy and food security, the embargo on Russian oil, and EU defense capabilities between May 30 and 31, in Brussels, Belgium.
"One topic that is still open is the sixth sanctions package. We’ve been working very hard and successful with five sanctions packages already. It has never been easy. It’s the same now with the sixth package. The commission and the French presidency have been working intensively in the last days to move forward on this package. We are not there yet, but it has matured for sure. My expectations are not that it will be solved in the next 48 hours, but I’m confident that after, there will be a possibility," von der Leyen said upon arrival at the special meeting of the Council.
Earlier today, the European Union members gathered in a last-ditch effort to reach an agreement on Russian oil import penalties, hoping to prevent a display of division over the bloc's reaction to the war in Ukraine.
Josep Borrell, EU foreign and security policy chief, said the EU was making every effort to come down to new sanctions on Monday, "Another important thing is to discuss about how we make a final deal on the sixth sanctions package. I’m fully confident that we will get an agreement. Yesterday afternoon and today in the morning the COREPER has been meeting, we have been pushing everyone in order to get an agreement today. And I’m very much confident that we will have this agreement."
Although the European Commission has been planning on blanket bans on Russian oil for the past weeks, Hungary has been stalling on them, arguing that there is no concrete plan for an alternative.
Orban, commenting on the feasibility of excluding Russia's pipeline supply of oil to Europe, said, "The pipeline solution is not bad. It’s a good approach, but we need a guarantee that in the event of an accident with a pipeline going through Ukraine, we will have to have the right to get Russian oil from other sources. If we get it, it’s fine."