Hungary asks EU to extend exemption for its oil company from Russia sanctions

Hungary will ask the EU for a one-year prolongation of the sanctions exemption for oil refiner Slovnaft, allowing it to export products made from Russian oil to Czechia, Reuters cited Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó on July 3.

Slovakia-based Slovnaft is a subsidiary of MOL Group, a Hungarian oil and gas company.

After a meeting with his Slovak counterpart Miroslav Wlachovský, Szijjártó said that MOL needs one more year to complete investment at Slovnaft that would allow a further shift from Russian crude oil, Reuters wrote.

MOL’s refineries use Russian crude oil delivered through the Druzhba pipeline, transiting through Ukraine.

Reuters cited MOL’s chairman Zsolt Hernadi that the company plans to partly finance the $500 million-$700 million in technological investment needed to diversify its oil deliveries, with the support of the EU subsidies.

Both Hungary and Slovakia are major importers of Russian crude. Szijjártó said that 80% of its crude oil supplies in 2022 came from Russia. Slovakia is among the most dependent countries in the EU with an estimated 95% of its oil coming from Russia.

The two Central European countries, as well as Czechia, received exemptions from the EU sanctions on Russian crude imports in May 2022, allowing them to use the Druzhba pipeline transit.

Ukraine downs 13 out of 17 drones Russia launched overnight

Ukraine's Air Force reported on Telegram that the country's air defenses shot down 13 out of the 17 Iranian-made Shahed drones that Russia launched at Ukraine overnight on July 3.

The remaining four drones that Ukraine's air defenses didn't shoot down did not reach their targets, according to the Air Force.

No casualties were reported based on preliminary information, the Air Force wrote in its post.

Over the course of the night, air raid alerts were activated in several central, eastern, and southern regions and the Air Force warned of the threat of missile and drone attacks.

Explosions that occurred in Kirovohrad and Khmelnytskyi oblasts were the result of Ukraine's air defenses operating in the area, the Air Force reported earlier.

The Telegram post also said that over the past few days, the Air Force has carried out "dozens of sorties, 15 of them aimed at the enemy's facilities, equipment, logistics, and manpower."

Married couple injured in Russian attack on Kherson Oblast

Russian troops struck the village of Kindiika on the eastern outskirts of Kherson on July 3, wounding a married couple, reported Kherson Oblast Governor Oleksandr Prokudin.

The 59-year-old man and 55-year-old woman were near the local church when one of the Russian projectiles hit the area, Prokudin wrote on Telegram.

Both victims were hospitalized and are receiving medical assistance, he added.

Earlier the same day, Russian forces shelled a village near Stanislav, Kherson Oblast, injuring three civilians.

According to Prokudin, Russia attacked Ukraine’s southern region 85 times on July 2, targeting residential areas, an agricultural building, and a pharmacy.

Six people, including a child, were reportedly injured in those attacks.