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Slovakia and Czechia seek extension for Russian oil product sales

Slovakia and Czechia seek extension for Russian oil product sales Photo: Slovakia and Czechia seek extension of EU sanctions exception for use of Russian oil (Getty Images)

Slovakia and Czechia want to extend exceptions from European sanctions on Russia, allowing the sale of processed oil products from the aggressor country, reports Financial Times.

As of today, December 5, the deadline for the expiration of exemptions from the European Union-imposed restrictions allowing Slovakia to sell processed products of Russian oil is ending.

At the same time, Bratislava and Prague are urging the new, 12th EU sanctions package against Russia to continue such an option. The authorities of Slovakia and Czechia are concerned about the impact on industry and the rise in prices in several Central European countries.

According to reports, the Slovnaft oil refinery in Slovakia, owned by the Hungarian group MOL, has not been able to switch from processing "heavy" Russian oil to "lighter" oil imported from other countries. This transition is estimated at around 200 million euros and will require more time than initially anticipated.

Meanwhile, the Czech government insists on completing the modernization of the pipeline connecting the Mediterranean port of Trieste with Central Europe. This would reduce dependence on supplies through the Russian oil pipeline Druzhba. The article notes that implementing the project will not happen before 2024.

At the same time, the Baltic countries and Poland oppose the extension of such sanction exemptions.

As representatives of the European Commission mentioned in conversations with journalists, discussions on the 12th sanctions package will not be critical, and it will not disrupt the agreement on the document introducing restrictions against Russia.

12th EU sanctions package against Russia

Recall that on November 15, the European Commission submitted proposals to the EU Council for the 12th package of sanctions against Russia. It proposes to impose restrictive measures on over 120 individuals and entities for their role in undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

The EU also suggests new bans on imports and exports, including Russian diamonds, as well as measures to increase oil prices and counteract the circumvention of EU sanctions.

According to Reuters, the United States, the EU, and the United Kingdom are pressing several countries on oil sanctions against Russia. It was also reported earlier by the media that some EU countries are interested in easing the ban on re-exports to Russia in the new sanctions package.