BERLIN — Hungary’s primary oil conglomerate mentioned on Wednesday that it could pay an excellent invoice owed via Russia’s oil pipeline operator to the Ukrainian government, clearing the way in which for Russian oil deliveries to renew to a few Central European international locations.
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 fee due for the use of the Ukrainian section of the pipeline.”
Ukraine pledged to renew deliveries of Russian crude to the 3 international locations, Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic, “within a matter of days,” MOL mentioned.
The government in the ones 3 international locations mentioned on Tuesday that Russian oil deliveries from the pipeline had stopped final week over “technical” banking problems connected to the sanctions Europe had imposed on Russia to punish it for invading Ukraine in February.
“This seems to be just another example of the ‘friendly fire’ from the sanctions that is going to hurt some European countries, in this case Hungary,” Vitaly Yermakov, a senior analysis fellow with Oxford Energy, mentioned in an electronic mail. “Sanctioning economic activity is a blunt weapon that can have unintended consequences.”
Led via Hungary’s top minister, Viktor Orban, the 3 international locations had lobbied for oil delivered via pipeline, versus via tankers, to be exempted from a European Union choice to begin banning imports of Russian oil later this yr.
All 3 depend closely on Russian oil to gas their economies, however none extra so than Hungary. MOL, which is among the nation’s largest and maximum successful firms, introduced in April that it could pay dividends of $652 million to shareholders.
Mr. Orban’s Fidesz birthday celebration gained a landslide victory in April elections at the promise that, due to reasonable power from Russia, fuel and application costs would now not skyrocket as they’d in different places in Europe. But this month, Mr. Orban’s govt was once pressured to scrap a value cap on energy for higher-usage families, as the cost of power has persisted to climb.
Hungary, in conjunction with Slovakia and Czech Republic, sit down on the finish of the southern arm of the Druzhba pipeline. Mr. Yermakov mentioned they’d no viable choices to Russian oil within the quick time period.
Germany and Poland, on the northern finish of the pipeline, have stopped buying Russian crude and as an alternative begun buying it from different suppliers and having it shipped to ports on their northern coasts.
A tanker wearing a cargo of U.S. bitter crude, which has similarities in grade to the Russian oil delivered during the Druzhba pipeline, arrived on the German port of Rostock final week, Reuters reported, bringing up analyst and vessel monitoring information.
A pipeline connects Rostock’s oil terminal at the Baltic Sea to the 2 primary refineries in japanese Germany, PCK refinery in Schwedt and Leuna, either one of which trusted Russia for deliveries till the beginning of the conflict.
Benjamin Novak contributed reporting from Budapest.