War in Ukraine: deprived of refineries, kyiv buys Russian oil from Hungary

Ukraine, which before the war bought diesel from Russia and Belarus, can no longer count on these suppliers. kyiv, out of refineries because of the conflict, had to fall back on other trading partners, such as Lithuania, Romania, and Turkey.

>> War in Ukraine: how Russia continues to export its oil despite Western sanctions

Ironically, some of these suppliers make refined products from Russian oil. The Hungarian company MOL, for example, delivers fuel to Ukraine. The company indeed refines crude that it buys from Russia. “For MOL, the situation is excellent, because it buys crude very cheaply, supports Michal Paszkowski, researcher at the Central European Institute. The Hungarian company indeed pays Russian oil 30% less than the market price thanks to its good relations with Moscow. “It arrives from Russia, via Belarus and Ukraine, then MOL transforms it into refined products, which it resells directly to Ukraine“, continues Michal Paszkowski.

A direct pipeline between Hungary and Ukraine

Over the past six months, the Hungarian company has doubled its diesel sales to Ukraine. MOL can deliver quickly, by train and through an old pipeline that has been reactivated. “This pipeline dates from 1976, says Michal Paszkowski. The Hungarians are using it again because it directly connects the Hungarian Duna refinery to Ukraine“.

Europe has implemented an embargo on Russian oil, but it does not apply to oil transported by pipeline, a derogation demanded by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. The latter won his case thanks to his threat to veto the decisions of Brussels.

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