EU Proposes Russian Oil Ban, New Sanctions on Russian Bank

Hungary has rejected the oil ban proposal

On Wednesday, the EU unveiled a proposal for sanctions on Russia that include a phased ban on Russian oil and sanctions on the country’s biggest bank, Sberbank, that would remove it from the SWIFT international messaging system.

To get the sanctions pushed through, the EU needs the consent of all 27 of its members, but Hungary and Slovakia have both said they need to be exempt from the oil ban. Under the plan proposed by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the bloc would phase out Russian oil by the end of 2022, while Hungary and Slovakia have until the end of 2023.

But Hungary has rejected the plan, arguing that it doesn’t protect the country’s energy security. “We do not see any plans or guarantees on how a transition could be managed based on the current proposals, and how Hungary’s energy security would be guaranteed,” said Zoltan Kovacs, a spokesman for the Hungarian government.

Kovacs told CNN that Hungary would need more time to phase out Russian oil. “The shortest period, we’ve been clear on that, our oil companies have been clear on that, is three to five years,” he said.

The EU is still very reliant on Russian energy, and no matter how the oil ban is done, it will have a significant impact on gas prices and Europe’s economy overall. Last year, Russian oil accounted for 27% of the EU’s imports. For Hungary and Slovakia, the reliance is incredibly high. Nearly 60% of Hungary’s oil imports in 2021 came from Russia, while Slovakia got 92% of its oil from Russia.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.