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Brussels Reportedly Running Out of Sanctions to Slap on Russia

© Sputnik / Vladimir Sergeev / Go to the mediabankFlags of Russia, EU, France
Flags of Russia, EU, France  - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.05.2022
Brussels has already applied over 950 sanctions against Russia over its decision to recognise the Donbass republics as sovereign nations in February, and the military operation in Ukraine which followed soon after. Hungary has held up a sixth package of restrictions proposing an embargo against Russian oil supplies, citing its economic impact.
The European Union is running out of sanctions it can slap on Russia, an EU diplomat has said.
“The 7th package of sanctions against Moscow will be extremely difficult…We are very close to reaching our limits. What will the 7th package include?” the diplomat, who was present at Monday’s meeting of EU foreign ministers discussing proposed restrictions, asked, speaking to Euractiv.
“If there was such a mess with Russia’s oil, imagine what would happen with a proposal to ban gas”, the official added.
The diplomat stressed that Hungary had not budged from its position on the proposed oil embargo against Russia – referring to Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s warning that such a ban would have an effect on the Hungarian economy equivalent to an “atomic bomb”.
“Hungary is doing everything to get guarantees…essentially to get the money from the Recovery Fund and even more than that”, the official said. The diplomat nevertheless expressed confidence that the issue will be resolved before it is taken to a summit due to the “huge pressure” that would be placed on Orban at such a level.
At the same time, the official warned that other countries expected to suffer economically in the event of an oil ban – like Bulgaria – may face questions from their populations after they begin to ask why their countries did not receive the proposed Hungarian-style assistance.
Oil pumpjack in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.05.2022
Budapest Refuses to Back Russian Oil Ban Until Hungary's Energy Concerns Addressed
In an interview with El Pais last week, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said that a ban on Russian oil would require Budapest to invest up to 550 million euros on capacity to refine non-Russian crude, and 200 million more on the Adriatic Sea Pipeline. These projects would take years to implement, and the price of gas in Hungary would rise by 55 percent. Brussels has attempted to resolve the issue by proposing that Hungary be compensated for at least some of its expected losses.
Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and other EU members have expressed concerns of their own about rapidly phasing out of Russian energy, saying they have no easily-sourced alternatives to these supplies. Earlier this month, the US State Department expressed confidence that the EU would move forward with a ban on Russian oil in the coming weeks, making way for billions of dollars' worth of US crude oil and natural gas.
Europe has slapped nearly 1,200 sanctions on Russia since 2014, with over 950 of them introduced since February and the twin crises associated with Moscow’s recognition of the Donbass republics and its subsequent military operation in Ukraine. The restrictions have contributed to rising inflation and energy costs being experienced by the region, and much of the rest of the world, since last spring.
Euro currency - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.05.2022
Poll: Over Half of Germans Admit to Being Poorer than in 2021 as Economy Declines Amid Sanctions
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