EU summit unlikely to find solution to Russian oil embargo, says von der Leyen

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – European Union leaders are unlikely to strike a deal on an oil embargo on Russia at their summit on Monday and Tuesday, the bloc’s chief executive Ursula said. von der Leyen.

“I don’t think the summit is the right place for it… We shouldn’t be fixing the summit,” she told Reuters on Tuesday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. She added that negotiations with Member States were ongoing.

The Von der Leyen Commission has proposed phasing out Russian oil imports by the end of the year in most EU member states, while Hungary and others may be given more time .

It would be the toughest EU sanction yet in response to Moscow’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Hungary, however, has so far refused to lift its veto.

It says hundreds of millions of euros are needed to upgrade its refining and pipeline infrastructure to be able to cut off Russian oil, while a full modernization of its energy system would cost billions of euros.

Von der Leyen said the negotiations were mainly focused on working out the details now: “I don’t think it will be a matter in the Council that will be decided there.”

It was picked up by an EU official.

“It is impossible that such a technical subject could be negotiated by heads of state and government at the summit,” the official said.

(Report by Sabine Siebold and Jan Strupczewski, edited by Charlotte Van Campenhout)