Ursula von der Leyen spoke with the European Parliament on Wednesday to remove one of Russia’s largest banks, Sberbank, from the SWIFT payment system and ban crude oil imports from the Kremlin, one of the strictest packages of sanctions against Russia. I made a suggestion.
The European Commission hopes that the sanctions package will be approved within a few days. However, member Hungary rejected the current proposal. Meanwhile, Slovakia, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic are seeking a two to three year exemption.
At a press conference on Wednesday, the Czech Prime Minister explained the reason for his attitude towards the issue.
“We are ready to support this decision, provided that the Czech Republic can delay its implementation until the capacity of the oil pipeline leading to the Czech Republic increases.”
Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Síkela said the Czech oil reserves can only cover domestic demand for 94 days. After that, the country may face difficulties as there is not enough alternative pipeline infrastructure to make up for Russia’s shortage of deliveries.
According to a government assessment presented by the Minister on Wednesday, the fastest way to switch is to expand the Trans-Alpine Pipeline (TAL), which moves oil from the Italian port city of Trieste via Austria and Germany. ..
“This pipeline currently has a capacity of about 38 million tonnes per year and is technically ready to expand another 2.5 million tonnes per year. Currently, the pipeline expansion is from the Bavarian state authorities in Germany. Waiting for approval. “
Mr. Sikela said he had a positive response when he asked German Minister of Industry Robert Habeck about the possibility of speeding up the approval process. However, even if the expansion is approved, the Czech Minister of Trade has further expanded TAL to 4800 per year so that TAL can completely replace the imports currently coming in through Russia’s Druzhba oil pipeline system. I expect it to be 10,000 tons.
“We also strive to ensure that the share of oil we receive from the TAL pipeline covers the 4 million tonnes we receive from the Druzhba pipeline, which is exactly what we are currently discussing with Italy, Germany, Austria and the EU. is.”
With the required approval, the Czech government expects the expansion of the TAL pipeline to take about two years.
https://english.radio.cz/czech-government-seeks-exemption-russian-oil-ban-8749635 Czech government wants Russia’s oil ban exemption