Hungary opposes EU's Russian oil ban plan 'in this form'

By: AFP
Published: 08:24 PM, 4 May, 2022
Hungary opposes EU's Russian oil ban plan 'in this form'
Caption: Hungary opposes EU's Russian oil ban plan 'in this form'.
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Hungary warned on Wednesday that it could not support the proposed EU ban on Russian oil in its current form as it would "completely destroy" its energy supply security.

The proposal "cannot be responsibly supported in this form, we cannot responsibly vote for it," said Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto in a video message posted on his Facebook page.

"This sanctions package would completely destroy the security of Hungary's energy supply," he said.

The EU proposal would ban Russian crude gradually over the next six months and refined fuels by the end of this year, but Hungary and Slovakia -- both highly depending on Moscow's oil exports -- would get until the end of 2023.

"The delivery of crude oil from Russia to Europe would be banned, with a short deadline, in the case of Hungary from the end of next year," Szijjarto said.

Ambassadors from the 27 European Union countries met on Wednesday to assess the plan, which will need unanimous approval before going into effect.

Szijjarto said Budapest would back the proposal if crude oil delivered via pipelines was exempted from the EU's ban.

"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," he said.

According to the government, 65 percent of Hungary's oil and 85 percent of its gas supplies come from Russia.

Hungary has long ruled out supporting any import ban with Prime Minister Viktor Orban -- who has cultivated close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent years - citing the central European country's dependency on Russian gas and oil.

"We don't see any plan or guarantee on how even a transition could be managed on the basis of the current proposals, and what would guarantee Hungary's energy security," the Hungarian government's press office said in a statement sent to AFP earlier Wednesday.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.