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Orban defies VDL as EU sanctions would be 'atomic bomb for Hungarian economy'

NewsOrban defies VDL as EU sanctions would be 'atomic bomb for Hungarian economy'


The Prime Minister has been engaged in talks with Ursula Von der Leyen over her plan to ban nearly all imports of Russian crude oil and processed fossil fuels which Hungary has declared it cannot support. All 27 EU countries must be in favour of Von der Leyen’s plan and both Hungary and Slovakia are blocking the sanctions as they are almost 100 percent reliant on Russian gas supplies.

On May 4, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said the ban would “obliterate” Hungary’s energy security.

In a Facebook video, Mr Szijjarto declared the country needed more time and would only accept the ban if Hungary was given a total exemption on oil imports through pipelines. 

He said: “In its current form the Brussels sanctions package cannot be supported, we cannot responsibly vote for it.

“Hungary could only agree with these sanctions if pipeline imports of crude oil would be exempt from the restrictions. Then Hungary’s energy security could be maintained. Now it cannot.”

He later added: “This is not a question of lack of political will, or of intention or timing, but simply this is the physical, geographical and infrastructural reality.”

Despite the President of the European Commission insisting that progress has been made in the talks with the Hungarian Prime Minister, it is clear that further negotiations will be needed.

On Twitter, Ms von der Leyen said: “This evening’s discussion with PM Viktor Orban was helpful to clarify issues related to sanctions and energy security. 

“We made progress, but further work is needed.”

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“Until the European Commission offers a solution to these problems, Hungary of course cannot support this sanctions package.”

This sanctions package is the sixth round from the EU on Russia which aims to block oil imports from Russia by the end of the year.

MEP Guy Verhofstadt tweeted last week that the unanimity method of the EU is “handicapping” the bloc and is killing EU credibility.

Mr Verhofstadt tweeted: “Unanimity is killing EU credibility and now even our security!

“We can’t afford this self-imposed handicap anymore. Stop Orban’s veto strategy.”



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