EU leaders on Monday night agreed on a plan for a partial Russian oil ban that will include exemptions for pipeline deliveries to Hungary and other land-locked nations.
Under the plan, all seaborne shipments of Russian oil and petroleum products will be banned from entering the EU by the end of 2022. The pipeline exemptions apply to Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia and are said to be temporary, but a timeline on when they expire is not yet clear.
While there are exemptions, the plan will ban the vast majority of Russian oil deliveries to Europe. The EU’s European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the agreement “will effectively cut around 90% of oil imports from Russia to the EU by the end of the year.”
The European Council still has to formally vote on the oil ban for it to be enacted. It will mark the EU’s sixth round of sanctions on Russia since the invasion of Ukraine was launched on February 24. The EU has already banned Russian coal and has plans to eventually wean itself off Russian gas.
The oil ban was delayed due to opposition from Hungarian President Viktor Orban. While agreeing to the new plan, Orban ensured there was an emergency provision to guarantee the delivery of oil to Hungary if its pipeline supply is disrupted.
While the EU has been planning to ban Russian oil, Moscow has been looking for other markets. Since invading Ukraine, Russia has stepped up oil shipments to China and India, making Asia the leading buyer of Russian oil over Europe.