Oil prices rise on OPEC’s supply cuts and healthy demand
14 March 2019 | 5:23 am
Data from the Energy Information Administration showed that the United States cut its imports of Nigerian crude oil by 43 per cent in 2018. Meanwhile, oil prices continue to inch higher by healthy demand and output cuts led by producer group OPEC.
EU leaders are expected to present the proposed embargo later this week. Supporting the measure would be Germany's second turnaround in as many weeks with regards to Ukraine.
The European bloc is moving closer to banning Russian oil with Germany changing course to support the embargo. But many questions remain open.
As EU member states push for a Russian oil embargo, Germany's PCK Schwedt refinery is facing an uncertain future. It runs wholly on Russian imports, and many locals aren't so sure alternatives can be found in time.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Brussels are at odds again. Hungary refuses to support the planned oil embargo against Russia. But now even former allies such as Poland are turning their backs.
The 27 EU member states are deliberating a gradual ban on Russian oil imports. Some countries, such as Hungary, Slovakia and Cyprus, are concerned about the repercussions of such a move on their economies.
Hungary's government is "holding European Union decision makers hostage" by refusing to join an EU-wide embargo on Russian oil, according to Lithuania's foreign minister. This comes as EU leaders continue their efforts to gather support for a sixth sanctions package on Russia from all 27 EU member states. The government of PM Viktor Orban has claimed that an import ban on Russian oil would ruin the Hungarian economy. Lithuania's Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis tells FRANCE 24 that "Europe is weaker" as a result, and that he is "still hoping Budapest will be responsible in their decisions".
Russia's president has said banning oil imports from his country would be impossible for some dependent European states, after the EU failed to reach consensus to impose the measure.
Where do you get oil and gas if you want to end dependence on Russia? Germany imported more than 500,000 barrels of crude oil from Russia every day in 2020. In theory, Iran could step in. But it's complicated.
German Economy Minister said the EU was close to finally agreeing on a ban on Russian oil imports as the war in Ukraine enters the fourth month.
In the week that EU leaders agreed on a sixth round of sanctions against Russia, Polish Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Pawel Jablonski speaks to FRANCE 24 about the effect he hopes the measures will have on the Russian economy, his disappointment at the Hungarian government's stance regarding sanctions and the latest developments in Poland's rule of law dispute with the European Commission.
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