Croatia One of EU Countries Seeking Exemption from Russian Oil Import Ban

Total Croatia News

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Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay

In discussions among members of the Council of the EU, which is expected to adopt a proposal by the European Commission to impose a ban on Russian oil imports in six months’ time and a ban on the import of Russian oil products by the end of the year, Croatia advocates an exemption that would enable it to continue importing beyond 2022 vacuum gas oil (VCO) for its oil refinery in Rijeka, the daily learned from sources in Brussels.

VCO supply sources on the market are rather limited and since INA’s refinery in Rijeka uses VCO in its production process, INA advocates continuing to buy VCO, the Croatian oil company said following unofficial reports from Brussels.

The discussions in the Council of the EU started on Wednesday, when the EC proposed the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, with an oil import ban as the key segment,  and they continued on Thursday and will probably continue on Saturday as there is yet no sign of consensus.

Hungary is opposed the most to an oil import ban, and it says that it will not agree to the EC proposal which would leave that country as well as Slovakia the possibility to buy Russian oil until the end of 2023, longer than other member-countries.

Hungarian representatives said at the first meeting on Wednesday that they sought a permanent exemption while Slovakians reportedly sought an exemption until 2025.

The Czech Republic and Bulgaria have indicated that they, too, wanted an exemption from the oil import ban, at least until the end of 2023, which is the EC proposal for Hungary and Slovakia.

According to unofficial information, Greece is not happy that the latest proposal of sanctions envisages a ban on the transport, including insurance, of Russian oil anywhere in the world. That regulation affects Greek and other European shipping companies, its purpose being to prevent Russia from redirecting oil exports to buyers outside the EU.

Discussions are still underway and a final decision on a Russian oil import ban may eventually be adopted in a form that departs from the EC proposal. There are no signs yet as to whether Croatia’s request has met with a favourable response, the daily says.

For more, check out our politics section.


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