Live News: Russia ready to work with Turkey to facilitate grain shipments from Ukraine
Sam Fleming, Valentina Pop and Andy Bounds in Brussels and David Sheppard in London
EU leaders at a summit reached an agreement on an oil embargo against Russia that exempts a key supply route – a concession aimed at placating Hungary, which has been blocking sanctions for nearly a month.
The embargo will include petroleum and petroleum products but above all allow a temporary exemption for crude delivered by pipeline, according to diplomats.
The capitals did not agree on the duration of a possible exclusion of oil supplied by pipeline. Keeping the pipelines free of any embargo has been a key demand from Hungary, which has argued that a ban would put its economy at risk given its dependence on crude delivered by the Druzhba (Friendship) pipeline from Russia.
En route to the Brussels summit on Monday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán insisted on ensuring that Budapest could still access Russian oil from other sources in the event of an “accident” with Druzhba, which runs through Ukraine.
Baltic leaders, who have been pushing for an oil embargo, have called on leaders to rally around a deal.
Kaja Kallas, Prime Minister of Estonia, said it was “up to everyone’s moral compass to know how to proceed”, while Arturs Kariņš, his Latvian counterpart, asked Orbán to look at the bigger picture: “It going to cost us more, but it’s only money. Ukrainians are paying with their lives.
Read more about the EU’s Russian oil ban plan here