The European Commission wants to use import duties to prevent some EU member states from seeking exemptions to the oil embargo on Russia, reports Der Spiegel. A Sunday article in the German news magazine indicates that the Commission is already planning to impose high import duties on oil from Russia, thereby making it prohibitively expensive to sell in Europe.
Viktor Orbán recently threatened to veto the latest EU sanctions package over a proposed embargo on Russian oil, and also fought for Hungary to receive an exemption for Russian oil delivered through the Friendship pipeline.
Hungary’s Prime Minister claimed that divesting his country from Russian oil would amount to a “nuclear bomb” dropped on the Hungarian economy. Energy analysts point out that state oil company MOL is likely getting Russian oil at a steep discount, and so making huge profits off of its sale.
The sixth round of EU sanctions on Russia required unanimous consent from every EU member state. However, setting import tariffs only requires a qualified majority in the Council of the European Union. [Népszava]