The European Commission’s plans to impose sanctions on Russian oil have been scumed by intense lobbying by Greece, the Greek Cypriot Administration and Malta. Greece argues that countries, including Turkey and China, would step in if they were to withdraw from the stage because of the oil ban.
The sixth Sanctions package, which the European Commission plans to impose on Russia after the Invasion of Ukraine, has been hampered by differences of opinion.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen recently announced plans to ban Russia’s oil imports to the EU altoge by saying that Russian President Putin must pay a high price for his brutality in Ukraine.
BAN DECISION DIVIDING THE EU
The proposed ban has caused controversy among member states. Hungary and Slovakia, which have the highest economic dependence on Russian oil, have formally informed Brussels that they cannot approve the proposal in its current form.
CYPRUS-CYPRUS AND MALTA’S LOBI STUDY
The Commission also proposed banning ships carrying the flag of EU countries or owned by EU citizens from carrying Russian Petroleum products. Objections to this part of the package came from Greece, the Greek Cypriot Administration and Malta.
Britain’s Telegraph newspaper reported that the ban on Russian oil had been broken after intense lobbying by the three countries.
ATHENS’ FEAR OF TURKEY
Athens, which has more than a quarter of the world’s oil tankers in capacity and is heavily dependent on shipping, argues that countries including China and Turkey will step in if they withdraw from the stage.
The EU’s plan for a ban now appears to be shaky, as greek authorities under intense pressure and Hungary threatens to veto the entire package of sanctions.
FINANCIAL TIMES: BAN SHELVED
“The EU is trying to increase economic pressure on Vladimir Putin’s regime by targeting the profitable oil industry. However, the proposed measures risk hitting a number of EU economies hard. ” statements.
PERSUASION TOURS: LAST STOP VIKTOR ORBAN
The commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen, was forced to fly to Budapest to meet with Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban following the latest developments. The Commission is trying to persuade Hungary to impose sanctions by offering extra time and potential financial support.
Hungary’s prime minister is seen as the last stop against Von der Leyen’s proposal to phase out Russian oil imports by the end of the year.