The European Union has been forced to abandon plans to bar the shipping of Russian crude oil amid pushback from member states.
Talks between member states broke up without a deal on Sunday and commission president Ursula von der Leyen was unable to bring Hungary on board with the proposals despite visiting Budapest for discussions yesterday.
The policy has now been dropped from the EU’s sixth package of sanctions measures aimed at weakening the Russian economy amid the invasion of Ukraine.
The EU commission first proposed the controversial policy last week. In a speech Von der Leyen acknowledged the difficulty that the import ban would entail for certain EU member states.
“Let us be clear: it will not be easy,” she said. “Some Member States are strongly dependent on Russian oil. But we simply have to work on it.”
It is understood that lobbying from Malta and Greece, as well as opposition from Hungary scuppered the policy. Member states argued that if equivalent measures to ban Russian crude oil imports were not implemented by G7 members such as the US and UK they would likely be ineffective, according to the FT.
It is understood that a ban on European companies providing services to Russian clients, such as insurance, which are necessary to facilitate imports will remain in the sixth package of sanctions