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Russia oil sanctions won’t be approved at EU summit on May 30-31 — head of EC

At the same time, it is noted that "a political element that might be discussed" at the coming summit

BRUSSELS, May 24. /TASS/. The heads of state and government of the European Union will not be able to agree on an embargo on the import of Russian oil at the summit on May 30-31, President of the European Commission (EC) Ursula von der Leyen said in an interview with the Politico newspaper.

"I think it is not an appropriate topic to be solved on the European Council because it’s very technical what we’re discussing. We're speaking about landlocked countries that need alternative supply via pipeline, so you have to speak about the investment in the pipelines, to increase the supply, and we're talking about refineries that have to be updated, and investment and renewable energy, she said, when asked if EU leaders would agree on an oil embargo.

However, she noted that there is "a political element that might be discussed" at the coming summit.

"This is, how much are the other 26 [member countries] willing to concede as investment to Hungary, but the first and foremost difficulties are the technical ones we’re discussing right now," von der Leyen said.

It is about three weeks now that the EU countries have been unable to reach an agreement on the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which includes a project for a delayed oil embargo. The European Commission proposed to introduce a ban on the import of crude oil from Russia six months after the sixth package comes into force. It also proposed to ban import of Russian petroleum products from 2023. The EC suggested that Hungary and Slovakia should be allowed to purchase Russian oil until the end of 2024. According to sources, the European Commission has already had to soften a number of its proposals on the timing of the introduction, parameters and possible exceptions to the oil embargo. Hungary opposes the oil embargo, with the support of a number of other countries who believe that the damage from this measure will be catastrophic for Europe.