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Expectations low at EU summit for strong action on Russian oil

The Washington Times: 'While the U.S. and Western allies quickly came together on a series of punishing waves of economic sanctions as the war began in February, the heavy reliance of some EU states on Russian oil imports has made collective action in the sector more difficult.

'Hungary has been the most vocal EU state in warning that an immediate and total ban on Russian oil would decimate its economy. Slovakia and the Czech Republic are also heavily dependent on supplies from the southern Druzhba pipeline from Russia for oil supplies.

'A total cutoff requires a unanimous decision from the bloc’s 27 member states.

'Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, proposed a full embargo of Russian oil more than three weeks ago, but the move exposed some of the first major cracks in EU unity against the Kremlin since the war began....

'...Some EU leaders were already talking about a more modest step than a full cutoff, including perhaps a ban on Russian oil tanker deliveries while allowing the pipelines to continue flowing for now.

'A second proposal includes a classic bureaucratic fudge: creating a new independent commission to study the issue and report on possible measures down the road.'

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