Sanctions Russia, yet another postponement due to EU agreement

Still no approval of the sixth package. The critical issues remain those relating to the countries most dependent on Russian oil, including Hungary

Yet another postponement for the agreement between EU member states on the sixth package of sanctions against Russia for the war in Ukraine, which includes a gradual embargo on oil imports from Moscow. The Coreper, the committee of permanent representatives of states to the EU ended without the package being approved, as in theory it should haveeven if, according to European diplomatic sources, the Council “is united on the need to adopt a sixth package of sanctions”.

According to the sources, thanks to the “intense” discussions conducted since the package was presented on the night between Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 May, “very important progress has been made on most of the measures”, based on the revised “proposals” “presented by the European Commission and the European External Action Service (among other things, the duration of the extensions granted to Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic was extended to make the embargo effective).

The critical issues remain those relating to the countries most dependent on Russian oil, including Hungarywhose Prime Minister Viktor Orban called the oil embargo an “atomic bomb” for the Hungarian economy, in addition to Slovakia and the Czech Republic. We still need, continues the diplomat, “to work to finalize, in a spirit of solidarity , the guarantees that are necessary for the oil supply of the Member States which are currently in a very specific situation as regards the supply from Russia by pipeline “.

Contacts “at all levels” will continue “at the beginning of the week”, with the aim of “reaching a complete agreement as quickly as possible” on the sixth package. Another Coreper meeting has not yet been scheduled. Today’s Sunday meeting was “very useful” to ascertain that “there are no political problems regarding the embargo on oil”. The goal now is to “finalize the package early in the week”. EU High Representative Josep Borrell had said that if a technical agreement was not found “immediately”, he would convene an extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council.