Kira Rudik says that she would ‘shoot’ Vladimir Putin

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Since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the West has imposed a wide range of sanctions against Moscow. But support for every penalty has not been unanimous, as seen in Hungary’s opposition to a complete EU ban on Russian oil. Fractures within NATO have also thrown up doubts over whether Finland and Sweden will be able to join the military alliance.

In recent weeks, the European Union (EU) fought to push through a sixth package of sanctions against Russia.

A complete ban on Russian oil imports was top of the agenda, but opposition from Hungary looked as though it would derail the plans altogether.

Despite objections from Budapest, the EU announced last week that it will block most Russian oil imports, by the end of 2022.

However, this will not include pipeline oil from Moscow, thanks to rebuttal from Hungary.

As a landlocked country, it is nearly 100 percent dependent on Russian oil and has demanded financial compensation from the bloc to agree to an all-out ban.

To compromise, EU leaders agreed to a “temporary exemption for oil that comes through pipelines”.

Instead, a unanimous agreement was reached to ban all Russian seaborne oil by the end of the year.

The EU has been keen to stop importing oil from Moscow, which currently supplies 27 percent of the bloc’s imported oil and 40 percent of its gas.

In return, the EU pays Russia around €400bn ($430bn, £341bn) a year.

The money is being used to help fund President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, which has now passed 100 days of war.

While the bloc will soon stop receiving around two-thirds of the oil imports it gets from Russia, it will still be paying a significant amount for its pipeline resources.

Though Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban has condemned Russia’s invasion, he enjoys good relations with President Putin.

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A separate development which is likely to please the Russian leader is Turkey’s opposition to Finland and Sweden joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

The country’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has accused the two Nordic nations of harbouring members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – a group it views as a terrorist organisation.

Finland and Sweden submitted applications to join the military pact, last month after support for membership soared in both countries.

But in order to join all existing 30 NATO members must approve their membership requests.

President Erdogan reiterated his stance last week, after meeting with delegations from Finland and Sweden.

He said the talks had not been “at the expected level,” and noted there had been no steps taken to alleviate Ankara’s security concerns.

President Putin is a vocal critic of the alliance and has blamed its expansion for growing tensions between Moscow and the West in recent years.

Though he said the move by Finland and Sweden did not threaten Moscow directly, he stressed that any expansion of military infrastructure would trigger a response from the Kremlin.

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