In the dispute over plans for a European oil embargo against Russia, the EU Commission has presented a new compromise proposal. According to information from the German Press Agency, the draft initially only allows the import of oil transported by ship to be phased out. Oil transported via the huge Druzhba pipeline would therefore be exempt from the embargo until further notice.

This would allow Russia to continue part of its business with companies in the EU. According to EU information, around a third of the total delivery volume flowed through the Druzhba pipeline. This supplies refineries in Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic as well as in Poland and Germany.

It was initially unclear whether the compromise proposal presented at the weekend had any prospects of success. Late on Sunday afternoon, the permanent representatives of the EU states wanted to meet in Brussels for initial consultations.

This Monday and Tuesday, the compromise proposal should also be an issue at a summit meeting of heads of state and government in the Belgian capital. This should be about the EU’s continued support for Ukraine, but also about efforts to become independent of Russian energy sources such as gas and oil.

However, the current EU negotiations are unlikely to have any impact on developments in Germany. Although a lot of Russian oil is still flowing to East Germany via the Druzhba pipeline, the federal government is aiming for a drastic reduction in imports, regardless of the planned EU oil embargo. Russian oil imports to Germany should already be halved by the middle of the year, and by the end of the year the aim is to be almost independent.

There has been a dispute in the EU for weeks about plans to ban imports of Russian oil because Hungary has so far been unwilling to support the project. The country justifies this with its high dependence on Russian oil supplies and the high costs of switching to other suppliers. Hungary only wants to agree to an embargo if it receives billions in aid from the EU or far-reaching special rules.

The EU Commission’s original proposal was to end imports of Russian crude oil in six months and oil products in eight months because of the Ukraine war. Hungary and Slovakia should be given 20 months. So far, the Hungarian government has not been able to convince the Hungarian government to offer improvements.