EU rejects ban on shipping Russian crude — media

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Brussels has opted to cancel plans to prohibit EU member-owned ships from moving Russian crude oil to third-party countries, documents seen by Bloomberg showed. However, a ban on insuring Russian tankers is reportedly still being reviewed. If passed, this could represent an effective barrier to exports of oil from the sanction-hit country.

The ban on transporting Russian crude, which was proposed as part of the EU’s sixth package of sanctions over Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, was reportedly opposed by Greece, whose economy heavily relies on shipping, people familiar with the matter told the media.

If adopted, the step would have effectively dented exports of Russia’s crude, since Greece has over a quarter of the world’s oil tankers by capacity.

EU countries are still debating the sixth package, with diplomats seeking to overcome objections voiced by Hungary to a proposed ban on Russian oil. They were unable to reach a deal over the weekend.

Last week, the bloc proposed a revision to the oil embargo in order to finally agree the ban. The measure is expected to give several member states, including Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, extra time to comply with the measure. 

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