This measure is under study as part of the new package of sanctions applied by the West against Moscow and which analysts evaluate as a boomerang against the bulk of the old continent in energy matters.
Slovakia is almost totally dependent on Russian oil, which it receives through the Druzhba (Friendship) pipeline, built during the Soviet era.
The minister told the press that Slovakia’s only refinery, Slovnaft, cannot switch immediately from Russian to other crude. A modification of the technology would take several years, he said.
He insisted that they will certainly insist on the exemption. European Union rulers are debating new sanctions proposals, which would include a phased oil embargo.
The 27 member countries would discuss the plans on Wednesday, which would come into force in the following days.