EU Could Replace Russian Oil For Slovakian, Hungarian But This Will Take Years - Expert

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EU Could Replace Russian Oil for Slovakian, Hungarian But This Will Take Years - Expert

The European Union could replace Russian oil for countries like Hungary, Slovakia, which are nearly totally dependent on energy from Russia, but it will take years to accomplish, Samuele Furfari, a professor of energy geopolitics at the Free University of Brussels, told Sputnik

BRUSSELS (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 02nd May, 2022) The European Union could replace Russian oil for countries like Hungary, Slovakia, which are nearly totally dependent on energy from Russia, but it will take years to accomplish, Samuele Furfari, a professor of energy geopolitics at the Free University of Brussels, told Sputnik.

The EU is currently working on the sixth package of sanctions against Russia over its military operation in Ukraine, which may include an oil embargo. German broadcaster ZDF reported earlier on Monday, citing a high-ranking EU diplomat, that Austria, Hungary and Slovakia had withdrawn their veto that would prevent the EU from sanctioning Russian oil exports.

"Solutions could be found, maybe, but it is very complicated in terms of tonnage, availability, supply, international agreements or investments. The most evident issue is the impossibility for refineries to switch from one type of crude oil to another. Distillation cannot be adapted without heavy investments that require a long time - years - to be installed," Furfari said.

According to him, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has to find other solutions if she wants to present a common front on the matter. The most evident possibility is to offer discreetly exemptions from the embargo, the expert suggested.

"The EU also speaks of a 'price cap.' I would say it is grotesque! A price cap would have to apply to the whole world, beyond Europe and America to be successful. It is impossible! Nobody has ever been capable of controlling oil prices, not even Saudi Arabia. Oil is a geopolitical issue and it is every country to itself. This very idea shows how Europe is cornered in its contradictions: a price cap will never be applied," Furfari explained.

On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine after the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian forces. In response to Russia's operation, Western countries have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow and vowed to reduce dependency on Russian energy.