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EU unable to reach immediate deal on Russian oil ban, to reconvene Thursday: Source

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Envoys from European Union countries did not reach an agreement on Wednesday about a proposed embargo against Russian oil, but they were expected to move closer to a deal at a meeting on Thursday, an official familiar with the talks told Reuters.

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The European Commission proposed earlier on Wednesday an embargo for Russian oil which would take effect in six months for crude oil exports, and in eight months for diesel and other oil products. Under the proposal, Hungary and Slovakia would be granted a longer period to adapt to the embargo until the end of 2023.

EU envoys had their first discussion about the proposal on Wednesday, but the meeting ended without a formal backing for the plan, as some countries raised concerns about the proposed measures, the source said, declining to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria raised concerns about the oil embargo, the source said, noting however that a deal could be achieved at a new meeting of envoys on Thursday.

Hungary and Slovakia have been publicly raising their concerns about the oil embargo, with Slovakia saying on Wednesday it wanted a longer transition period to wean itself off Russian oil, of at least three years.

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