Bratislava, May 21 (TASR) – Slovakia is capable of replacing its oil supplier completely within three years, but this will require several investments and technological changes made not only to the Slovnaft oil refinery but also the Adria pipeline and emergency oil reservoirs in eastern Slovakia, Economy Ministry State Secretary Karol Galek (SaS) told TASR TV on Friday.
EU energy security was also discussed as part of the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE). The Druzhba pipeline should be conserved for potential future supplies of Caspian oil, suggested Galek, adding that the discussion within the EU on transitional embargo-exemption periods for Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria is still ongoing and that Slovakia doesn’t support the permanent exemption pursued by Hungary.
The transitional period is also supported by MEP Robert Hajsel (Smer-SD). “Slovakia also needs some time to make investments, take the steps necessary to secure alternative sources and oil routes outside Russia such as, for instance, the full launch of the Adria pipeline,” he stated, adding that these measures must also include social aid for lower-income earners, as changes in supplies can cause fuel-price hikes.
Galek added that Slovakia will support all sanctions that hurt Russia. He warned, however, that prudence is required so that the sanctions won’t hurt Europe more than Russian citizens and President Vladimir Putin.