BERLIN — Hungary’s most important oil conglomerate mentioned on Wednesday that it might pay an excellent invoice owed by Russia’s oil pipeline operator to the Ukrainian authorities, clearing the way in which for Russian oil deliveries to renew to three Central European countries.
Analysts described the monetary association as an sudden boomerang impact of sanctions imposed on Moscow.
The conglomerate, MOL Group, an administrator of the Hungarian arm of the Druzhba, or Friendship, pipeline, mentioned on Wednesday that it had “transferred the payment due for using the Ukrainian part of the pipeline.”
Ukraine pledged to renew deliveries of Russian crude to the three nations, Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic, “inside a matter of days,” MOL mentioned.
The authorities in these three nations mentioned on Tuesday that Russian oil deliveries from the pipeline had stopped final week over “technical” banking points linked to the sanctions that Europe had imposed on Russia to punish it for invading Ukraine in February.
“This appears to be simply one other instance of the ‘pleasant hearth’ from the sanctions that’s going to harm some European nations, on this case Hungary,” Vitaly Yermakov, a senior analysis fellow with Oxford Vitality, mentioned in an e mail. “Sanctioning financial exercise is a blunt weapon that may have unintended penalties.”
Led by Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, the three nations had lobbied for oil delivered by pipeline, versus by tankers, to be exempted from a European Union decision to start out banning imports of Russian oil later this 12 months.
All three rely closely on Russian oil to gasoline their economies, however none extra so than Hungary. MOL, which is likely one of the nation’s largest and most worthwhile corporations, introduced in April that it might pay dividends of $652 million to shareholders.
Mr. Orban’s Fidesz occasion received a landslide victory in April elections on the promise that, because of low-cost vitality from Russia, gas and utility prices wouldn’t skyrocket as that they had elsewhere in Europe. However this month, Mr. Orban’s authorities was pressured to scrap a value cap on energy for higher-use households, as the worth of vitality continued to climb.
Hungary, together with Slovakia and Czech Republic, sits on the finish of the southern arm of the Druzhba pipeline. Mr. Yermakov mentioned that they had no viable options to Russian oil within the brief time period.
Germany and Poland, on the northern finish of the pipeline, have stopped buying Russian crude and as an alternative have begun shopping for it from different suppliers and having it shipped to ports on their northern coasts.
A tanker carrying a cargo of U.S. bitter crude, which has similarities in grade to the Russian oil delivered by means of the Druzhba pipeline, arrived on the German port of Rostock final week, Reuters reported, citing analyst and vessel monitoring information.
A pipeline connects Rostock’s oil terminal on the Baltic Sea to the 2 most important refineries in japanese Germany, PCK refinery in Schwedt and Leuna, each of which trusted Russia for deliveries till the beginning of the conflict.
Benjamin Novak contributed reporting from Budapest.