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EU grants exemptions from Russian oil ban

EU member states have finally agreed to ban 90% of Russian oil imports by the end of this year as part of the latest Ukraine-related sanctions against Moscow.

The embargo, which had been debated for nearly a month, targets Russian crude delivered by sea, while allowing a temporary exemption for pipeline fuel, to win the support of Hungary and other landlocked countries.

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“An agreement was reached. Hungary is exempt from the oil embargo!” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban posted on Facebook.

Hungary was not alone in voicing objections to the Russian oil embargo. The landlocked nation led a group of EU states, including Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Croatia, alarmed by the potential impact on their economies.

READ MORE: EU reaches agreement on Russian oil

The Czech Republic has reportedly been granted an 18-month exemption from a ban on the resale of oil products.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria has been excluded from the embargo until the end of 2024, according to Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, who said further details would be revealed in a couple of days. He added that the exemption would give Sofia time to adapt its refineries to process other oil.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has claimed that the latest package of sanctions against Russia would not only impact the amount of crude the sanctions-hit nation is selling abroad, but would also force down the price it can ask for it.

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