article-single

Hungary's Orban Shoots Down Russian Oil and Gas Embargo Discussions at EU Summit

Budapest has resisted the European Union’s proposal to ban Moscow’s oil and gas, with its prime minister arguing that the bloc’s sanctions only work “on paper”.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said that an agreement on the proposed EU embargo of Russian oil and gas is “very unlikely” to come in the coming days. He went on to argue that the lack of consensus between the European leaders indicated the unproductivity of discussing the sanctions package.

“Looking at the gravity of the issues still open, it is very unlikely that a comprehensive solution could be found before the special meeting of the European Council on 30-31 May,” Orban wrote in a letter to EU Chief Charles Michel, cited by AFP.

The Hungarian prime minister went on to recommend against addressing the issue at upcoming meeting.

Hungary’s stance on the proposed Russian oil embargo remains steadfast, with Budapest continuing to resist Brussels’ move to ban Russia’s energy products. Orban has argued that his country cannot support sanctions against Moscow that undermine Hungarian energy security.

On the contrary, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock voiced optimism that the European Union will reach a consensus on the sixth package of anti-Russian sanctions “soon”, boasting about the EU’s “solidarity”.

According to the German foreign minister, Berlin is also on track to become fully independent from Russian energy in the near future.

Last week, the EC rolled out a €210 billion plan titled REPowerEU that established a bold goal of ditching Russian energy resources by 2027. However, as the Hungarian prime minister pointed out, the plan lacked “[funding] envelopes for the most concerned landlocked member states”. According to him, the proposed sanctions would trigger “serious supply problems” for Budapest and undermine Hungary’s economy.

Reprinted from Sputnik News.