The Czech Republic is ready to support a ban on imports of Russian oil into the European Union if it is postponed until pipeline capacity is increased. Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) said this after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. He wants to postpone it for two to three years. In his opinion, the sanctions must not harm Czech citizens more than Russia.
“The embargo on Russian oil would apply from the end of this year. We are ready to support it, provided that the Czech Republic has a postponement until the capacity of pipelines to transport oil to the Czech Republic is increased,” the prime minister announced.
He added that he was in intensive talks about the postponement. “We are trying to achieve a delay for two or three years. Then we are ready to support this package of sanctions, “he stressed.
“The sanctions must not harm Czech citizens more than the Russian Federation,” the prime minister explained.
The ban on Russian oil imports to the EU is part of a package of sanctions proposed by the union after Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February. European states should also disconnect Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, and two other banking houses from the SWIFT international payment system.
Member states must unanimously approve the sanctions to come into force. Slovakia is similar to the Czech Republic on the oil import ban.
According to Economy Minister Richard Sulík, the country agrees with the ban on Russian oil imports to the EU but asks for a three-year transition period.