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Newsline: EU diplomats hopeful for Russian oil embargo deal in May

The European Union still aims to agree a phased embargo on Russia oil this month despite concerns about supply in eastern Europe, four diplomats and officials said on Friday, rejecting suggestions of a delay or watering down proposals. However, the diplomats and officials said they were optimistic about a deal, even as Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has struggled to convince Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the most vocal critic of the proposed embargo. “There will be a deal,” a senior EU diplomat said, noting that there was flexibility in the proposed transition and investment levels for countries relying on Russian oil who will need to find other sources of supply. (https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/eu-hopeful-russian-oil-embargo-deal-may-diplomats-say-2022-05-13/) Dependence on Russian oil in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia poses the biggest obstacle to an embargo deal that the European Commission, the EU executive, proposed in early May in response to Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

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