EU mulls formally halting Russian oil pipe flow – Bloomberg
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The European Union has proposed banning imports of Russian oil via the northern branch of the Druzhba pipeline as part of its new sanctions package against Moscow, Bloomberg reports.

The restrictions will not apply to oil supplies through the pipeline from third countries.

Such a step would be largely symbolic given that Germany and Poland, which the northern Druzhba route leads to, have already scaled back in terms of Russian oil imports.

Exemptions allowing flows through the southern branch of the link, which supplies Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, will remain in place. They imported almost 290,000 barrels of oil a day in 2022, while Germany and Poland averaged about 480,000 barrels a day.

Poland had long been pushing to sanction the northern Druzhba route as it would have otherwise been legally difficult for Warsaw to terminate its contracts and stick to a pledge it made last year to halt Russian oil imports. 

But, after Russia unilaterally halted oil supplies, Poland terminated its last supply contract in April without penalty.

Germany stopped importing Russian oil even earlier, on 1 January.

Since 5 December 2022, the EU has partially embargoed Russian oil imports, which does not yet apply to supplies via the Druzhba pipeline.