EU leaders will not be able to agree on an embargo on Russian oil during the May 30-31 summit in Brussels, Reuters reports, citing statements from the meeting participants.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen confirmed that the bloc is not yet ready to finalize a decision. She said she doubted that "it will be solved in the next 48 hours," according to U.S. newspaper the Washington Post.
At the same time, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said she believes that most likely the EU will come to an agreement before the next summit at the end of June.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo said the talks were not easy, but he had no doubts that a decision would be made "in the coming days, weeks."
“We're getting a little bogged down in all of the details and we're forgetting the big picture… It's only money. The Ukrainians are paying with their lives. We can and should support them, if only out of personal interests, because only after the defeat of Russia will we be able to feel safe in Europe,” commented Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš.
Reuters has seen a draft of the document, according to which the sixth package of EU sanctions may include a ban on oil imports by sea, while sanctions against pipeline oil supplies to Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, which have no access to the sea, will be introduced later.
The European politicians will not negotiate this issue at this stage, “however, the leaders will ask diplomats and ministers to finalize an agreement that would also ensure fair competition between those still getting Russian oil and those cut off,” the agency writes.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said there is "no compromise at all" at the moment and that the country is ready to support a sixth round of sanctions against Russia if a decision is made to ensure Hungary's energy security. According to him, there is no such solution now.
President Volodymyr Zelensky will speak online at the EU leaders' summit on May 30-31.
The European Union has been trying for about a month to agree on a sixth package of sanctions against Russia in response to the full-scale war unleashed by the Kremlin in Ukraine. This package should to include an embargo on Russian oil.
The EU needs all 27 member states to agree to the embargo. Hungary is one of the main opponents of such a move. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited Budapest on May 9 to meet with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
The media previously reported that the EU was ready to finance oil pipelines for Hungary or offer a deferral to the country so that Budapest would support the sixth package of sanctions against the Russian Federation.