Hungary, Slovakia get an extra year before Russia’s oil ban comes into effect – POLITICO

The European Commission is proposing to allow Hungary and Slovakia to stop their Russian oil imports by the end of 2023, according to the commission’s proposal, seen by POLITICO.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday proposed an EU ban on Russian oil in her latest package of sanctions against Moscow over the war in Ukraine, but stressed it should be done “in an orderly manner”. The commission proposes to stop Russian supplies of crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of the year.

The Commission had already signaled to EU countries that there would be some form of transitional measures for Hungary and Slovakia, as those two countries depend on Russian oil and are struggling to find alternative supplies. In recent weeks, Hungary has emerged as one of the main obstacles to further sanctions against Russia’s energy sector.

According to the document, “until December 31, 2023, the competent authorities of Hungary and Slovakia may authorize the execution of contracts” concluded before the new sanctions package came into force, “or ancillary contracts necessary for the execution of such contracts.”

Hungary and Slovakia would have to notify the Commission of any plans to make use of the exemption and would have to set the terms of all ongoing oil deals.

In the coming days, the Commission’s plan will be discussed by EU countries. Some EU diplomats have already indicated that they want to shorten both the phase-out period and the exemption period for Hungary and Slovakia. Hungary, Slovakia get an extra year before Russia's oil ban comes into effect - POLITICO

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