The European Union is about to agree on a Russian oil embargo within days, Germany's Economy Ministry Robert Habeck told media. "We will reach a breakthrough within days," Habeck told German ZDF, as quoted by Reuters.
Just a day earlier, Habeck had told the media that Germany was so eager to impose an embargo on Russian oil imports that it was willing to do it without a consensus among all 27 EU members.
Speaking to another German news channel, Habeck said that "If the Commission president says we're doing this as 26 without Hungary, then that is a path that I would always support," adding, however, "But I have not yet heard this from the EU."
Germany is one of the most vocal supporters of a Russian oil embargo and earlier this month said it was going to eliminate the commodity from its energy mix by the end of the year, whatever the rest of the European Union decides.
That's despite the fact that the refinery supplying fuel for the capital Berlin and its surroundings is majority-owned by Russia's Rosneft and runs on Russian crude. Earlier this month, Shell's chief executive warned the 233,000-bpd facility would start reducing production as soon as deliveries of Russian crude stop.
Suspending Russian oil imports, Ben van Beurden said, "will probably mean that that refinery will be turned down quite significantly because the incoming logistics are constrained and the refinery is not configured for anything else but Urals."
The European Union has granted Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Bulgaria temporary exemptions from an embargo, giving them more time to find alternative suppliers. It is also offering them more than $2 billion for their trouble.
The proposal for the embargo, made by the European Commission, involves a six-month period for winding down purchases of Russian oil and nine months for purchases of Russian refined products.