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EU edges towards oil sanctions on Russia, no deal yet
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BRUSSELS – European Union governments moved closer on Sunday to agreeing tough sanctions against Russia that include a ban on buying Russian oil, but scheduled more talks for Monday to work out how to ensure countries most dependent on Russian energy can cope.
Ambassadors of the 27 EU countries have been meeting daily to discuss details of the sixth sanctions package targeting Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine since the European Commission announced proposals for it on May 4.
"The Council (of EU governments) is united on the need to adopt a 6th sanctions package," the French presidency of the EU and the Commission said in a statement. "Very significant progress has been made on most of the measures."
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The sticking point is how to secure oil supplies to landlocked Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, which all depend heavily on Russian crude delivered via Soviet-era pipelines and face a challenge to secure alternative sources.
"We still have work to finalize, in a spirit of solidarity, the guarantees which are necessary for the oil supply conditions of the Member States which currently find themselves in a very specific situation with regard to supply by pipeline from Russia," the joint statement said.